With all the emphasis on the beauties of mainland Italy it’s easy to forget that we are also a country of islands. In fact, Italy has over 400 islands if you count those in inland lakes and rivers as well as those that lie in Italy’s seas. In this post we journey to the lovely Eolie Islands (Aeolian in English) named after the demigod of the winds – Aeolus.
The Eolie islands are seven small jewels, known as the seven sisters, that lie to the North East of Sicily. They have been a Unesco heritage site since 2000 for their enchanted landscapes. We got there by boat, starting from Naples, but there are also connections from Reggio Calabria and Messina.
We decided to stay in Lipari and Stromboli, the former because is the largest and from there you can go on day trips to visit the other islands, the latter to see its volcano at night.
Stromboli has permanent volcanic activity and is totally off the grid, so at night it is illuminated only by lava and stars, a unique and enchanting place which leaves even an expert traveller like me speechless!
As for food, we’re in Sicily, so food is an amazing experience: granita (frozen, flavoured dessert) , brioches, cannoli (sweet ricotta-filled pastries), pasta alla norma (with aubergines) and all’eoliana (with capers and anchovies), cunzato (seasoned) bread, as well as, of course, every fish dish you can think of.
When it comes to wine, honourable mention must go to Malvasia delle Lipari, a DOC and passito wine (sweet wine made from dried grapes), long aged and delicate. It has a dry version suitable for light foods such as fresh summer salads, and a sweet version, the best known, which goes well with desserts, biscuits and fresh fruit and can be tasted in numerous cellars. Less known is the black Malvasia, a structured wine suitable for white meats.
I visited the La Pergola farm in Lipari, a company run by a family with ancient traditions, where Enrico and his wife Lorelisa showed me their products and let me taste their excellent Malvasia Criesia Vecchia. This is an excellent wine, made with immense love for this land! You can buy it by contacting them on Facebook – just search for Criesia Vecchia. I strongly recommend it.
These islands will stay long in my heart, it was a fantastic experience!
Rita recommends …..
Granita & brioches , a Sicilian must for breakfast https://lovesicily.com/blog/perfect-sicilian-breakfast-granita-and-brioche
Cunzato bread http://www.visitsicily.info/en/pani-cunzatu-2/
Pasta alla eoliana https://www.academiabarilla.it/en/ricetta/pasta-with-aeolian-island-sauce/
La vita è un viaggio e chi viaggia vive due volte (life is a journey and those who travel live twice)