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Lipari

Lipari is the largest, busiest and most accessible of the Aeolian Islands. Visitors arriving from the mainland will likely experience it as a relaxing introduction to island life.


The main focus is Lipari Town, the archipelago's principal transport hub and the nearest thing that islanders have to a capital city. A busy little port with a pretty, pastel-coloured seafront and plenty of accommodation, it makes the most convenient base for island-hopping. Away from the town, Lipari reveals a rugged and typically Mediterranean landscape of low-lying macchia (dense Mediterranean shrubbery), silent, windswept highlands, precipitous cliffs and dreamy blue waters.


There is a quite efficient bus service connecting the bigger town of Lipari to the other smaller villages; but the easiest way to get around is by renting a scooter.


Top Attractions


Quattrocchi

Lipari's best coastal views are from a celebrated viewpoint known as Quattrocchi (Four Eyes), 3km west of town. Follow the road for Pianoconte and look on your left as you approach a big hairpin bend about 300m beyond the turnoff for Spiaggia Valle Muria. Stretching off to the south, great cliffs plunge into the sea, while in the distance plumes of sinister smoke rise from the dark heights of neighbouring Vulcano.


A must-see for Mediterranean history buffs, Lipari's archaeological museum has one of Europe's finest collections of ancient finds.


Lapped by clean waters and surrounded by sheer cliffs, this dark, pebbly beach on Lipari's southwestern shore is a dramatically beautiful swimming and sunbathing spot.


One of Lipari Town's great pleasures is simply wandering its streets, lapping up the laid-back island atmosphere.


Down near Lipari's southwesternmost tip, this high perch commands unparalleled views south to Vulcano.


Citadel

After the pirate Barbarossa rampaged through in 1544, murdering most of Lipari's men and enslaving the women, the island's Spanish overlords fortified Lipari by constructing a citadel (also known as the castle) around the town centre. The town has since moved downhill, but much of the citadel's impregnable wall structure survives; it's an impressive sight, especially when seen from below.


Highlights here include finds from Lipari's 11th-century-BC necropolis.


A fine example of 17th-century baroque architecture, the Aeolians' 'mother church' was built to replace the 11th-century Norman cathedral destroyed by Barbarossa.


Below Campo Bianco and the abandoned pumice mines at Porticello, this pebble beach is nicknamed Spiaggia Bianca in reference to the layers of white pumice dust that once covered it.


The nearest beach to Lipari Town, and the most popular swimming spot on the island, is the long, pebbly strip at Canneto, 3km north of town on the other side of a jutting headland.


A few kilometres north of the beach at Canneto lies the Campo Bianco quarry, where huge gashes of white rock streak down the green hillside.


In the sunken area opposite Lipari's cathedral, you can see the remains of a series of circular huts, the oldest of which date to the 17th century BC.

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