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Forming one of the Aeolian group of islands, Salina lies just to the north of Sicily and is the second largest island in the archipelago. The island is divided into three distinct areas. Santa Marina which is on the eastern coast, Malfi in the north and Leni in the south west. With a history that can be traced back to the 4th century, Salina began as a Greek settlement which at the time was called Didyme, which is a Greek name that means "twins" in reference to the two mountains on the island. However, the island was inhabited as far back as the Bronze Age and since then has been developed and abandoned many times. The island is popular with visitors and one of the most popular sights is the salt lake at Lingua which was once the site for the production of sea salt, hence the name Salina ("salt mill" in Italian). Also popular attractions are the Roman tombs that are located on the slopes of Fossa and the Sanctuary of the Madonna del Terzito, located between Malfi and Leni. This is the religious centre of the island and attracts many pilgrims on the main feast day of July 23rd each year.
Salina has two ports, Santa Marina and Rinella, served by ferries and hydrofoils from Hydrofoil service is active from Naples, Palermo, Reggio Calabria, Messina and Milazzo.
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.