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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 city of Palermo is located on the Italian island of Sicily and lies on the island's north west coast and has a large and strategically important natural port, next to the Monte Pellegrino. The city is typically Mediterranean and can trace its history back to the 8th century and is today known for its Norman buildings, fabulous palaces and the hustle and bustle of its markets. Palermo's historic centre is the Quattro Canti district, which means 'Four Corners' and is where a number of the city's most spectacular attractions can be found. These include the Royal Palace and the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta. The cathedral's sheer size and lovely architecture really needs to be seen to be fully appreciated. Also popular in the city is the medieval Basilica of San Francesco d'Assisi and the 12th century Castello della Zisa. For visitors who enjoy the performing arts there is also the Teatro Massimo which is a recently refurbished theatre that puts on regular performances.
Ferries from the city's port depart to Genoa, Civitavecchia, Naples and Tunisia.