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The small Italian volcanic island of Vulcano lies in the Tyrrhenian Sea and is around 25 km to the north of Sicily, and is the most southerly of the eight islands that make up the Aeolian Islands. The island is only around 21 sq. km and its highest point is just under 500 m above sea level. There are a number of volcanos on the island, and includes one of four active, non-submarine, volcanoes in Italy. The most recent volcanic activity is the Gran Cratere at the top of the Fossa cone, the cone having grown in the Lentia Caldera in the middle of the island, and has had at least 9 major eruptions in the last 6,000 years. However, the island's volcanoes have been quiet since around 1890 when Fossa erupted and deposited around 5 meters of pyroclastic material on the summit. The island is also famous for its hot springs which are located a short walk from the harbour. For the brave, visitors are able to walk to the crater of a volcano where you can observe smoke coming out of the ground!
Hydrofoil and ferry services connect Vulcano to the other Aeolian Islands and to Sicily and the mainland. Access from Milazzo in Sicily is convenient, as Vulcano is the boat's first stop from there as they continue to the other islands.
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.