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Forming one of the 8 islands that make up the Aeolian archipelago, the island of Alicudi is the westernmost Aeolian islands, which is a volcanic chain of islands to the north of Sicily. There are around 120 inhabitants on the island which is around 40 km to the west of Lipari, with a land mass of around 5 sq. km. Most of the island's inhabitants live off fishing, with some involved in the small amount of agriculture that takes place on the island. Visitors should note that there are not many facilities on the island which has one restaurant serving whatever fish has been caught or what supplies the ferry brings.
The island is accessible by conventional ferry or hydrofoil from Palermo, Messina, Reggio Calabria and Napoli. The primary port of departure for the Aeolian Islands, and hence also for Alicudi, is the town of Milazzo in Sicily. Ferry services generally operate all year round but are weather dependent. Alicudi is the farthest Aeolian Island from Milazzo and therefore the crossing takes around 3 hours by hydrofoil, with stops at the islands of Vulcano, Lipari, Salina and Filicudi.
The small Italian island of Vulcano lies in the Tyrrhenian Sea and is roughly 25 km off the coast of the island of Sicily. It is the southernmost of the eight islands that make up the Aeolian group of islands. The island has a number of volcanic centres, including one of four active, non-submarine, volcanoes in Italy. The most recent volcanic activity on the island was at the Gran Cratere at the top of the Fossa Cone, with the cone having grown in the Lentia Caldera in the middle of the island, and has had around 9 major eruptions in the last 6,000 years. However, since the eruption of the Fossa Cone between 1888 and 1890, which deposited around 5 meters of material on the summit, the island has been quiet. For the brave, visitors are able to walk to the crater of a volcano where you can observe smoke coming out of the ground! Apart from the volcanos the island is popular with tourists because of its hot springs which are only a short walk from the island's harbour.