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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 Stromboli is located off the coast of Sicily and lies in the Tyrrhenian Sea and is one of eight islands that make up the Aeolian group of islands. Visitors to the island tend to have three options of things to do. The first is to wander the pretty streets of the island's main village and soak up the lovely views that are on offer, however, the island's crater is not visible from the village. Next, visitors enjoy taking a boat trip around to Sciara del Fuoco which is a deep black lava scar down the side of the volcano, and is a good place to see Stromboli's explosions, especially after dark. The third activity, and not for the faint hearted or the unfit, is to climb the volcano and see eruptions close up!
Some ferry and hydrofoil services from Sicily and the mainland stop at Stromboli. Alternatively travellers can change on the island of Lipari for a connecting ferry. Stromboli is north-east of the other Aeolian Islands, and the hydrofoils from Lipari can take as much as 1 hour and 40 minutes. Services from Messina in Sicily take just under 1 hour and 30 minutes.