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The Italian island of Lipari is the largest of the Aeolian Islands and lies in the Tyrrhenian Sea, off the northern coast of Sicily. The island is located between Vesuvius and Etna and is around 30 km from Sicily. Lipari is a relatively small island, measuring just under 40 sq. km, with one main town, also called Lipari, and 4 other villages: Pianoconte, Quattropani, Acquacalda and Canneto. Lipari Town is a lovely place to take a stroll and has a number of elegant town houses, along with some more modest houses, with flower strewn balconies set along pretty little streets. The island's inhabitants are very welcoming to visitors and tend to have a cheery disposition. There are many souvenir shops on the island and a good selection of cafe's and restaurants serving good, local food and drink. There are traces of the island's history throughout the island with Greek tombs that lie open to the sky. However, perhaps the most impressive visitor attraction on the island is its castle.
Lipari is the most practical base for visiting the Aeolian Islands. Fast ferry connections from Sicily all stop here, and there are plenty of boats and hydrofoils to the other islands.
The Italian island of Alicudi in one of the Aeolian Islands which is located off the coast of Sicily and mainland Italy. It is the most remote of the Aeolian Islands and also has the island group's smallest population, with around 100 inhabitants. The island's only form of transport are its donkeys which can frequently be heard braying. Because of the island's small population, and size, and because its tourist infrastructure is perhaps not as well developed as some of its neighbours, it has managed to retain a great deal of its rugged, authentic charm. The island's simplicity is an attraction for certain types of visitors; adventurers, artists and writers.
The island is actually a volcanic cone protruding from the sea which is now covered in vegetation and extinct. There are a number of footpaths, that begin from the little port on the island, that climb the island's steep slopes, passing cultivated terraces. Formerly, the island was called Ericusa which derives from the heather (Erica) that grows on the island's slopes. Some of the island's houses are well maintained and some are abandoned and are mainly located in the east of the island as the island's western slopes are steep and inaccessible.
There are scheduled ferry services to Alicudi from the other Aeolian Islands, from Sicily and from the Italian mainland.