View of volcano, Stromboli
The Islands

Take a sunset boat trip to see a spectacular natural ‘fireworks’ display’

Aeolian Adventures

Welcome to Stromboli

The atmosphere on Stromboli is carefree and chilled, with a slight touch of the bohemian. Car-free, and devoid of street lights – travel is by scooters, golf carts and boats – life on Stromboli, the furthest island from Sicily, is relaxed and laidback.

Although Salina is traditionally known as the ‘green’ Aeolian island, Stromboli is a stop off point for numerous species of migratory birds and it too is overflowing with lush vegetation. Cacti, caper bushes, bougainvillea and palm trees shade white cubic Aeolian-style houses, clustered around churches such as Saint Vincenzo. But the island’s other claim to fame is the constantly erupting volcano which, at night, produces some mesmerising scenes.

Volcanic activity on Stromboli

Stromboli’s volcano is one of two active volcanoes in the archipelago and continually erupting, but it is at its most spectacular at night time when it displays its own natural light show. No surprise then that the island is known as the ‘Lighthouse of the Mediterranean’.

A boat trip after sunset to watch the famous ‘sciara del fuoco’ (stream of fire) is a must. During the daytime, the display is less dramatic and the lava and gas eruptions from the craters closely resemble smoke. Hiking up the volcano is a good option for the more adventurous – only permitted with a guide – and the number of people allowed to visit the crater each day is restricted. The best option is a late afternoon hike, arriving at the crater in time for the evening ‘fireworks’ display. This is a 5-hour round trip, with a steeper hike involved since the 2014 eruptions changed the activity on the volcano so a reasonable level of fitness is required to attempt the hike.

Stromboli’s beaches

Unsurprisingly, given the high level of volcanic activity, beaches on the island are formed of black sand bordered by crystal-clear waters which are heavenly for diving and snorkelling. Some of the best coves include Forgia Vecchia, accessible via a footpath from Scari beach, and Punta Lena, a secluded beach that can only be reached by boat.  Ficogrande, between Scari and Piscità, is Stromboli’s largest beach with lido-style facilities.

Towns and villages on Stromboli

The island has three villages: San Bartolo and San Vincenzo which lie in the northeast, with the smaller village of Ginostra, in the southwest. The latter, a pretty fishing village with a tiny port, is cut off from the other two, and only accessible from the sea. Olive, lemon, caper and prickly pear crops surround the village which has two restaurants, alongside a church, post office and grocery store. Electricity only arrived here in 2004 and, in place of cars, there are just a few donkeys or mules to help transport things up the hill from the harbour to the village.

Fame and celebrity

Attracting celebrities and film directors, the island was cherrypicked by iconic fashion designers Dolce and Gabbana who had a seafront holiday home here and also by film director Roberto Rossellini. A plaque marks the house on Stromboli’s main square where film director Roberto Rossellini stayed with his leading lady, Ingrid Bergman, while filming ‘Stromboli Terra di Dio’ in the 1950’s. At the time, the two were both married to other people.  Rossellini’s former lover, the Italian actress Anna Magnani, was so furious with his new affair that she made a film (‘Vulcano’) to rival ‘Stromboli Terra di Dio’ on the island of Vulcano.  The main street on Vulcano island is in fact named Via Anna Magnani.

Stromboli was also featured in Jules Vernes novel ‘Journey to the Centre of the Earth’ in which Professor Otto Lindenbrock and his nephew Axel eventually come to the surface on Stromboli.

Getting to Stromboli

Choose from a selection of ferries and hydrofoils from Messina and Milazzo on Sicily, some of which require ferry changes in Lipari or other Aeolian islands. The fastest crossing from Milazzo to Stromboli is 70 minutes.

Ferries also depart year round from Naples on the mainland, and during the summer months, from Reggio Calabria and Vibo Valentia in Italy’s southern region of Calabria.

Hotels in Stromboli

Aeolian Adventures

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