The archaeological park of the Aeolian Islands develops in the islands of Lipari, Panarea, Filicudi and Salina and includes suggestive prehistoric villages, necropolis of Greek and Roman age, Roman baths and many other testimonies.
Places of myth, of the strength of volcanoes, of reckless travelers, of pirates and of a millenary history that begins in the Neolithic and lasts until today. Around 5500-5000 B.C. the most ancient communities arrived to permanently inhabit and exploit an important natural resource present only in the island of Lipari: obsidian. Black glass produced about 8500 years ago from the crater of a now defunct volcano, very useful for making sharp tools.
The archipelago is composed of the seven islands born from volcanoes and immersed in the Tyrrhenian Sea that make up, precisely, the archipelago of the Aeolian Islands, whose name derives from the mythical king Aeolus mentioned in the Odyssey (book X).
The headquarters is the prestigious Archaeological Museum Luigi Bernabò Brea on Castle of Lipari, founded in 1954.
From here, with a baggage rich in history, you can leave for an adventurous journey between the sea, hiking trails and beautiful landscapes.
The Aeolian Islands have been inserted in the patrimony of the sites UNESCO in 2000, because they represent a historical model in the evolution of the volcanology studies worldwide.
The Castle of Lipari
Lipari Castle, actually a fortified citadel, in fact, the current appearance derives from the mighty Spanish fortifications, built around the fortress by Charles V, after the attack on the island of Tunisian Kaireddin Barbarossa, who had conquered and destroyed the city in 1544. The natural lava dome on which the ancient city of Lipari was founded is in itself inaccessible due to its geological conformation that places it 40 meters above sea level. Such a strategic position has been a security for the indigenous peoples because of the lava cliffs that rise almost all overhanging.
The fortress of Lipari
Hosted since prehistoric times with settlements dating back to the Neolithic, the Copper Age and the Bronze Age, it represents the most important discovery in the prehistory of the Mediterranean. Were the remains, overlapping and intersecting each other, of the huts of four important villages that succeeded each other during the Bronze Age (1800-900 BC), that is, through a millennium of history. Lipàra (i.e. fat, fertile) or Meligunìs (name that seems to refer to honey, in ancient Greek méli) saw the light during the fiftieth Olympiad (580-576 B.C.) by inhabitants of Knidos together with a group of the island of Rhodes, as it reports the Greek historian Diodoro Siculo. The first settlement cnidio was certainly on the Rock. Soon the city expanded towards the plain and the Rock, became the Acropolis of the city, or its highest part surrounded by walls. Inside there were houses, temples and the agora (the main square).
The existence of a regular urban plant which also interested the Acropolis, it is ascertained for the Roman-Imperial age (II-I century. BC) but probably already existed in Greek times. There was a subdivision in blocks delimited by roads that cross themselves to right angle (cardi and decumani). A main road axis (decumanus) is in perfect correspondence with the tower-door of access to the Acropolis. In more recent times there were radical alterations of the Acropolis-Castle which led to the almost total cancellation of the buildings of Greek and Roman age. Starting from 1792, the castle was transformed into a place of detention and confinement which lasted until the Fascist period. After the Second World War with the decommissioning of the confinement camp, in this evocative scenario rich in suggestions and painful memories, in 1950 began the archaeological excavations conducted by Luigi Bernabò Brea and Madeleine Cavalier.