Islands of the Gods

Sicily and its Aeolian Islands are places of magic where myths and legends were born. The Greek gods made these lands their playground and demonstrated a penchant for “Sicilian real estate,” especially the stunningly beautiful Aeolian Islands, which served as the backdrop to some of the classic stories of antiquity.

On his epic ten-year voyage home from the Trojan War, Odysseus made the treacherous passage through the clutches of Scylla, a man-eating monster that lived in a cliff-side cave across from the mighty whirlpool of Charybdis (thought to be the Straits of Messina.) Then Odysseus journeyed on to the Aeolian Islands to pay his respects to Aeolus, the god of the winds, who resided in a castle on the island of Lipari, the largest of the fertile cluster of seven volcanic islands. The fearsome god Hephaestos, who represents blacksmiths, artisans, metallurgy and fire, lived on the fire-belching island of Vulcano where he forged the arms that protected the gods and heroes of the Trojan War.

While more and more Americans discover the many allures of La Bella Sicila, few have yet to venture to the largely undiscovered Aeolian Islands. As you dream of vacations to come, consider basing a stay on Lipari from which you can explore any of the Aeolian islands including the island of Stromboli which, after Hawaii’s Kilauea, is the world’s most active volcano.

Most of the photographs featured were taken from Lipari with several from Vulcano, Salina and Filicidi.

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