Lipari


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Lipari, Aeolian Islands ArchipelagoLipari is the largest and most heavily populated island of the archipelago. The town is spread out under the imposing Castle rock, the ancient Greek acropolis, and along the bays of Marina Corta and Marina Lunga, to the north and south. The houses climb up under the ramparts and via Garibaldi follows them around, from Piazza Mazzini to the lovely Marina Corta.

The ferries and the hydrofoils arrives at Marina Lunga, in the port of Sottomonastero.

Lipari or Meligunis, as the Greeks called it because of its mild climate, has a surprising variety of scenery due to its geological complexity. Twelve volcanoes have shaped the island over thousands of years.

Its volcanic origin is evident in the Muria Valley, with its red rocks, and on the north-east coast, covered by a vast flow of pumice, which hides Roman ruins of the 4th century AD. On this white mountain three flows of obsidian criss-cross, the Forgia Vecchia, the Rocche Rosse and the most ancient one Canneto. Pumice and obsidian, black and white, are both glassy and made of silicon but differ regarding specific weight, the way in which the eruption and cooling of the magma happened, acidity and viscosity. The plates and points produced with the precious obsidian determined the wealth of Lipari before the Bronze Age, as they were goods to exchange with peoples who didn’t have them.

Today, the pumice deposits are spread over eight square kilometres and are the second resource of the island after tourism. For more than a century pumice has been exploited for its various uses in the tanning of hides, in building, and as a coating and abrasive.

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Holiday Housing, Lipari

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Corso Vittorio Emanuele, the old Roman decuman, is still the main street. In the summer months it is always lively, full of tourists and locals. You can go shopping or just take an evening stroll past the rows of shops, agencies and bars.
Among the many things on sale, malmsey and capers are the most common and can be found just about everywhere.
Nearby, in the Hotel Oriente you can visit an art and craft collection, run by Edoardo Bongiorno: agricultural and handicraft implements used in the last two centuries, along with locks, bolts, blacksmiths’ and carpenters’ tools, scales, typewriters, coffee machines, a Sicilian cart, old tools and lots of old prints. Not far away there is the Archaeological Park of contrada Diana with its vast necropolis which, unfortunately, has been closed to the public for a long time.

Via Garibaldi is a series of artisans’ shops and restaurants.

Marina Corta is connected by an isthmus to the peninsula where the small church of the Souls in Purgatory stands. Jetties have been built which have rather changed the natural look of the place. However, even today, especially out of the tourist season, it still retains the charm of a fishing village. The fishermen came here from Acitrezza at the beginning of the century and their multi-coloured boats are drawn out of the water, in the square, with the nets waiting to be repaired.

The statue of Saint Bartholomew, patron of Lipari, welcomes the tourists who find themselves surrounded by shops selling guide-books, postcards and souvenirs.

After a short stop at Marina Corta, you can set off on a visit to the many lovely corners of Lipari.
On the left stands the bell tower of the church of Saint Joseph, which is reached by walking up a hill with the same name, passing the beautiful pottery shop run by Stefano Panza, the sports shop Linea Mare, the Chitarra bar and the restaurant Il Pirata.
Continuing to the right we reach the Hotel Meligunis and then the Piazzatta delle Arti e dei Mestieri with its realistic murals.
It’s a pleasure to wander around the maze of alleys. Just behind the church of Saint Joseph is the 16th century chapel of Saint Bartholomew, wonderful in its simplicity.
From here the road leads to the beach at Porto delle Genti, also called ‘Portinente’ in Sicilian because, being exposed to all winds, it is useless, except when there is dead calm.

THE CASTLE

The first destination of our itinerary is visible from all over the town because it rises above it with its imposing sixteenth century walls. It is the natural fortress of the Castle rock, a geological structure of volcanic origin, which dominates the two landing places of the island and has been continuously inhabited for six thousand years.
Every era has left its own mark: from Neolithic times to the Greek acropolis, from the Roman town to the Norman one, right up to the present fortifications of the Spanish town which hide the remains of previous walls. You enter the Castle from piazza Mazzini at the end of via Garibaldi.

The Norman fortification, built at the time of Roger II, protected the entire northern side of the rock. The entrance is a gate tower, which includes 23 rows of blocks from the Greek tower of the early fourth century bc.
The Norman gate leads into a tunnel whose exit was protected in times of danger by a portcullis and an embrasure.
You pass through a short tunnel with ogival arches in neo-gothic style, constructed in the 19th century, and arrive at another imposing tower, maybe part of late Roman or early mediaeval fortifications.
Another gate, probably of the Aragonese era (19th century), with a large coat of arms painted on the architrave leads into via del Castello.

Since 1954 the Eolian Archaeological Museum has been based here. We have indicated on the map of the castle the various buildings that make up the museum complex and which can be visited from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. The whole castle zone contains important traces of the past, both in the open air in archaeological digs, and inside the pavilions. On the right the first church is Saint Catherine, 17th-18th century, now closed to worship.
Further on there is the small Church of Our Lady of Sorrows with a baroque facade whose foundation dates back to the 16th century, with beautiful wooden altars and gilded stuccoes; the large Church of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, built in 1747, with a smooth facade.

To the south of the Church of Saint Catherine, and in front of the Church of the Immaculate Conception, there are two archaeological areas with the remains of huts relating to the Bronze Age and parts of the Hellenistic and Roman towns (a ‘decumano’ or main street, crossed by ‘cardines’ secondary streets). Near the archaeological areas, information boards show the series of chronological phases, with maps divided into different coloured sections.
Next to the excavations is the stairway called Via del Concordato, built in the early 1900s to provide a direct connection between the Cathedral and the town. The stairway has, however, completely changed the original layout of the rock, damaging the archaeological stratifications.
At the bottom of the stairway, to the right, there is the archaeological park where the Greek sarcophagi from the necropolis of contrada Diana have been put.

In 1976 an open-air theatre was built, based on a Greek model, with wonderful natural scenery. It is an oasis of peace and serenity. A fifth church, Our Lady of Mercy, was built in the 17th and 18th centuries on the site of an already existing place of worship.
The Cathedral of Saint Bartholomew rises up majestically with the bell tower in neo-baroque style.
Seriously damaged in 1544 during the incursion by the pirate Red Beard, it was completely rebuilt and has been decorated several times. Of the Norman church with one nave it retains the transept and the presbytery.
Rebuilding began in the 1500s in Gothic style and was completed in the 1600s in baroque style.
The interior has a nave and two aisles with cross-vaults, decorated with frescoes of the 1700s showing events from the Old Testament. Behind the altar there is a silver statue of Saint Bartholomew from the 1700s. From inside you can visit the lovely cloister of the old Norman Abbey. Only three sides of it remain because one was swallowed up by the right hand aisle of the Church after the extension.
The ambulatories of the cloister are divided into spans with cross-vaults and have columns with Doric capitals, recovered from the entrance halls of Graeco-Roman houses destroyed by the Saracens, and columns with smooth shafts and capitals decorated with stylised leaves, drawings of birds, monsters, doves, etc. The cloister opens onto an interior garden.
The later construction of the Bishop’s Palace used the spaces of the portico, walling up the columns and capitals and thereby preserving them for 800 years. They had been forgotten until their recent discovery and restoration, which brought back to life a work of art.

Eolie Houses, Sonia Monte, Lipari

Eolie houses

Holiday houses – apartments to let and properties for sale in the Aeolian Islands. Property agency for holiday houses and apartments to let, sale…

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Holiday Housing, Lipari

Holiday Housing

HOLIDAY HOUSING manages seasonal weekly bookings and sales of houses / apartments and private villas in the Aeolian Islands. Real estate agency in…

Continue Reading

Vulcano Consult

Real estate agency for the Aeolian Islands, sale and leasing of houses, tourist villas and properties in Aeolian Archipelago. More houses Sicily:…

Continue Reading

Immobiliare Lipari

Eoliando

 For a new holiday, young and dynamic, the latest trends in the industry: the bed and breakfast, rural tourism and the highly popular sailing…

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Hairdresser Carbone

BEAUTY ... Inspired by the look of the study and the language of fashion ... ranging from color to styling to make up ... for a complete and…

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