Lipari (Italian pronunciation: [ˈliːpari], Sicilian: Lìpari, Latin: Lipara, Ancient Greek: Μελιγουνίς Meligounis or Λιπάρα Lipara) is the largest of the Aeolian Islands in the Tyrrhenian Sea off the northern coast of Sicily, southern Italy; it is also the name of the island's main town and comune, which is administratively part of the Metropolitan City of Messina. Its population is 12,734, but during the May to September tourist season, the total population may reach up to 20,000.

Comune di Lipari
Coat of arms of Lipari

Coat of arms
Location of Lipari
Lipari is located in Italy
Location of Lipari in Italy
Lipari is located in Sicily
Lipari (Sicily)
Coordinates: 38°28′N 14°57′E / 38.467°N 14.950°E
Metropolitan cityMessina (ME)
FrazioniAlicudi, Filicudi, Panarea, Stromboli, Vulcano, Canneto, Acquacalda, Quattropani, Pianoconte, Lami
 • MayorMarco Giorgianni
 • Total89.72 km2 (34.64 sq mi)
5 m (16 ft)
 • Total12,819
 • Density140/km2 (370/sq mi)
Demonym(s)Liparesi or Liparoti
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+2 (CEST)
Postal code
Dialing code090
Patron saintSaint Bartholomew
Saint day24 August


Lipari is the largest of a chain of islands in a volcanic archipelago situated in between Vesuvius and Etna. The island has a surface area of 37.6 square kilometres (14.5 sq mi) and is 30 kilometres (19 mi) from Sicily. Besides the main town, most of the year-round population resides in one of the four main villages: Pianoconte is almost due west across the island, Quattropani in the northwest, Acquacalda along the northern coast, whereas Canneto is on the eastern shore north of Lipari town. The highest point on the island is Monte Chirica at 602 m (1975 ft).[3]


Lipari pumice mining
A pumice mine just east of Acquacalda.
Panorama di Lipari
View of Lipari.

Geologists agree on the fact that Lipari was created by a succession of four volcanic movements, the most important of which was the third one, presumably lasting from 20,000 BC to 13,000 BC. A further important phenomenon should have happened around 9000 BC.[4] The last recorded eruptions occurred in the fifth century CE when airborne pumice, together with volcanic ash, covered the Roman villages of the island. The volcanoes are considered active, and steaming fumaroles and hydrothermal activity may still be seen. As a result of its volcanic origin, the island is covered with pumice and obsidian. Pumice mining has become a large industry on Lipari, and the pale pumice from Lipari is shipped worldwide.


Neolithic Period

In Neolithic times Lipari was, much like Sardinia, one of the few centers of trading in obsidian, a hard black volcanic glass prized by Neolithic peoples for the extremely sharp cutting edges that can be obtained. Lipari's history is rich in incidents as witnessed by the recent retrievals of several necropolis and other archaeological sites. Humans seem to have inhabited the island already in 5000 BC, though a local legend gives the eponymous name "Liparus" to the leader of a people coming from Campania.

Late Bronze Age

In the Mycenaean Period, Lipari has yielded pottery from LHI to LHIII.[5][6]

Iron Age

Lipari's continuous occupation may have been interrupted violently when in the late 9th century an Ausonian civilization site was burned and apparently not rebuilt. Many household objects have been retrieved from the charred site.

Greek Period

Greek colonists from Knidos arrived at Lipara ~580 BC after their first colonization attempt in Sicily failed and their leader, Pentathlos, was killed.[7] They settled on the site of the village now known as Castello. The colony successfully fought the Etruscans for control of the Tyrrhenian Sea. Carthaginian forces succeeded in holding the site briefly during their struggles with Dionysios I, tyrant of Syracuse in 394, but once they were gone the polis entered a three-way alliance which included Dionysios' new colony at Tyndaris. Lipara prospered, but in 304 Agathokles took the town by treachery and is said to have lost all of his pillage from it in a storm at sea. Many objects recovered from old wrecks are now in the Aeolian Museum of Lipari. Lipara became a Carthaginian naval base during the first Punic War, but fell to Roman forces in 252–251 BC, and was occupied by Agrippa in Octavian's campaign against Pompei. Under the Roman Empire, it was a place of retreat and exile and was enjoyed because of its baths (the hydrothermal waters are still used as a spa).

From the Middle Ages to present

The 1556 fortifications, built atop ancient Greek walls.

Lipari was probably an episcopal see from the 3rd century onward, with the first bishop being St. Agatone, who, according to tradition, had found the sacred remains of St. Bartholomew that had washed ashore, and put the precious relics for veneration in his cathedral. The presence of the relics has been attested since at least 546.

In the 9th century, Sicily was conquered by the Arabs, and soon Saracen pirates began to raid across the Tyrrhenian Sea, with dramatic effects for Lipari. In 839 the Saracens slaughtered much of the population, the relics of St. Bartholomew were moved to Benevento, and Lipari was eventually almost totally abandoned. The Normans conquered the Arabs throughout Sicily between 1060 and 1090, and repopulated the island once their rule was secure. The Lipari episcopal seat was reinstated in 1131.

Though still plagued by pirate raids, the island was continually populated from this time onward. Rule of the island was passed from the Normans to the Hohenstaufen Kings, followed by the Angevins, and then the Aragonese, until Carlos I, the Aragonese King, became the Spanish King, and was then quickly crowned Holy Roman Emperor Charles V.

Franco-Ottoman attack

Lipari castle on acropolis.jpeg
View of the 16th century Lipari castle on the old Greek acropolis as seen from Piazza Marina Corta

In 1544, Hayreddin Barbarossa, together with the French fleet of Captain Polin under a Franco-Ottoman alliance, ransacked Lipari and enslaved the entire population.[8] Jérôme Maurand lamented about the depredation to his Christian fellow men during the campaign at Lipari: "To see so many poor Christians, and especially so many little boys and girls [enslaved] caused a very great pity." He also mentioned "the tears, wailings and cries of these poor Lipariotes, the father regarding his son and the mother her daughter... weeping while leaving their own city in order to be brought into slavery by those dogs who seemed like rapacious wolves amidst timid lambs".[9]

A number of the citizens were ransomed in Messina and eventually returned to the islands.

Charles V then had his Spanish subjects repopulate the island and build the massive city walls atop the walls of the ancient Greek acropolis in 1556.

The walls created a mighty fortress still standing today. The acropolis, high above the main town, was a safe haven for the populace in the event of a raid. While these walls protected the main town, it was not safe to live on the rest of the island until Mediterranean piracy was largely eradicated, which did not occur until the 19th century.

20th century

Night time in Marina Corta, Lioari.jpeg
Marina Corta, the smaller harbour in the main town

During the 1920s–1940s, Lipari Island was used for the confinement of political prisoners including: Emilio Lussu, Curzio Malaparte, Carlo Rosselli, Giuseppe Ghetti and Edda Mussolini.

Culture and media

  • The archaeological museum covers human history of the Aeolian Islands from prehistoric to classical times, vulcanology, marine history, and the paleontology of the western Mediterranean.
  • The ending sequence of Kaos by Paolo and Vittorio Taviani showed children sliding down the vast slopes of white pumice that flowed into the sea. Today the pumice slope stops about 1 metre (3 ft) from the sea.
  • The annual feasts of St. Bartholomew.[10]
  • On 25 July 2013, the mayor of Lipari issued an ordinance banning the wearing of "bikinis, thongs or other swimming costumes in the town centre" to be punished with a fine of 500 euros[11] (equivalent to about $700 in 2014).


See also


  1. ^ "Superficie di Comuni Province e Regioni italiane al 9 ottobre 2011". Istat. Retrieved 16 March 2019.
  2. ^ "Popolazione Residente al 1° Gennaio 2018". Istat. Retrieved 16 March 2019.
  3. ^
  4. ^ Keller, J. (1969): Die historischen Eruptionen von Volcano und Lipari. Zeitschrift der Deutschen Geologischen Gesellschaft, vol.121, pp.179-185.
  5. ^ Gert Jan van Wijngaarden (2002) Use and Appreciation of Mycenaean Pottery in the Levant, Cyprus and Italy (1600-1200 BC)
  6. ^ Bernabo-Brea & Cavalier 1980
  7. ^ Diodorus Siculus 5.9, Pausanias 10.11.3-4
  8. ^ Syed, Muzaffar Husain; Akhtar, Syed Saud; Usmani, B. D. (2011-09-14). Concise History of Islam. Vij Books India Pvt Ltd. ISBN 9789382573470.
  9. ^ Anthony Carmen Piccirillo p.1
  10. ^ "Festa di San Bartolomeo a Lipari". Retrieved 4 March 2018.
  11. ^ "Lipari bans swim-suit attire from town centre". Retrieved 4 March 2018.
  • Ezio Giunta, dir. (2005). "Lipari". Estateolie 2005*The Essential Guide (English version of Tourist Guidebook): 2–61.

External links

Aeolian Islands

The Aeolian Islands () (Italian: Isole Eolie, pronounced [ˈiːzole eˈɔːlje], Sicilian: Ìsuli Eoli, Greek: Αιολίδες Νήσοι, Aiolides Nisoi) are a volcanic archipelago in the Tyrrhenian Sea north of Sicily, named after the demigod of the winds Aeolus. The islands' inhabitants are known as Aeolians (Italian: Eoliani). The Aeolian Islands are a popular tourist destination in the summer and attract up to 200,000 visitors annually.

The largest island is Lipari and the islands are sometimes referred to as the Lipari Islands or Lipari group. The other islands include Vulcano, Salina, Stromboli, Filicudi, Alicudi, Panarea and Basiluzzo.


Alicudi (Italian pronunciation: [aliˈkuːdi]) is the westernmost of the eight islands that make up the Aeolian archipelago, a volcanic island chain north of Sicily. The island is about 40 km (25 mi) west of Lipari, has a total area of 5.2 km2 (2.0 sq mi), and is roughly circular. It is located at 38°32′45″N 14°21′00″E.


Ansonica or Inzolia is a white Italian wine grape planted primarily in western Sicily where it can be used to produce Marsala wine. The grape is noted for its nutty aroma. In Tuscany, the grape is known as Ansonica. It is the chief (and potentially only) component of the Tuscan D.O.C. Ansonica Costa dell'Argentario, which is located on the extreme southern coast of Tuscany and on the island of Giglio.Ansonica can also be found in the following DOC wines:

Calabria: Bivongi DOC;

Sicily: Alcamo DOC, Contea di Sclafani DOC, Contessa Entellina DOC, Delia Nivolelli DOC, Erice DOC, Memertino di Milazzo or Mamertino DOC, Marsala DOC, Menfi DOC, Monreale DOC, Riesi DOC, Salaparuta DOC, Sambuca di Sicilia DOC, Santa Margherita di Belice DOC, Sciacca DOC, Vittoria DOC;

Tuscany: Ansonica Costa dell'Argentario DOC, Elba DOC, Parrina DOC and Val di Cornia DOC.

Battle of the Lipari Islands

The Battle of the Lipari Islands or Lipara in 260 BC was the first encounter between the fleets of Carthage and the Roman Republic during the First Punic War. A Roman squadron of 17 ships commanded by the senior consul for the year Gnaeus Cornelius Scipio was trapped in Lipara harbour by 20 Carthaginian ships under Boodes. The inexperienced Romans made a poor showing, losing all 17 of their ships captured.

Big Pussy Bonpensiero

Salvatore "Big Pussy" Bonpensiero, played by Vincent Pastore, is a fictional character on the HBO TV series The Sopranos. Not to be confused with fellow fictional New Jersey mobster known as "Little Pussy" Malanga, Big Pussy was a close friend and mob enforcer for Tony Soprano.

Christian Riganò

Christian Riganò (born 25 May 1974) is an Italian football manager and former professional footballer who played as a striker.

FBI on The Sopranos

A major plotline on the fictional HBO drama The Sopranos was the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation's ongoing pursuit of the DiMeo (New Jersey) and Lupertazzi (Brooklyn) crime families. The Bureau's investigations met with varying degrees of success. This article lists both characters who acted as F.B.I. informants and F.B.I. agent characters and as such is an expansion of the main article List of The Sopranos characters.


Filicudi (Italian pronunciation: [filiˈkuːdi]) is one of eight islands that make up the Aeolian archipelago, situated 30–50 km (19–31 mi) northeast of the island of Sicily, southern Italy. It is a frazione of the comune of Lipari.

Franco Scoglio

Francesco "Franco" Scoglio (Italian pronunciation: [ˈfraŋko ˈskɔʎʎo]; 2 May 1941 – 3 October 2005) was an Italian football manager who coached at both national and international level.

Joe Lipari

Joe Lipari, also known as J.R. Lipari, (born October 5, 1979) is an American writer, marketer, comedian and artist.


Katakombenschulen (catacomb schools) were established in Italian South Tyrol during the 1920s period of Fascist Italianization; teaching of and in the German language was banned (Lex Gentile, October 1923) by the authorities of Italy which had occupied the area in 1918. Approximately 30,000 students in 324 schools were affected, including the dissolution of German nursery schools and all higher German language based educational institutions.School teachers in the province were replaced by Italian-speaking subjects. German language based education went underground when private lessons were banned in November 1925. The main organizers were, among many others, priest Michael Gamper and lawyer Dr. Josef Noldin. School books were smuggled from farm to farm and lessons taught by the dismissed German teachers; they were augmented by approximately 500 young female volunteers. The Katakombenschulen focused on the teaching of writing and reading in German. The penalty for being found out was prison and repeatedly caught teachers were deported to South Italy. The 25-year-old teacher Angela Nikoletti died from tuberculosis during a prison term. Josef Noldin was deported to Lipari in 1927.After the signing of the Lateran treaty in 1929 German language religious lessons on Sunday were allowed.

Lipari Cathedral

Lipari Cathedral (Italian: Basilica concattedrale di San Bartolomeo di Lipari; Duomo di Lipari) is a Roman Catholic cathedral in Lipari in the Province of Messina, Sicily, dedicated to Saint Bartholomew. Formerly the episcopal seat of the diocese of Lipari, it has been since 1986 a co-cathedral in the Archdiocese of Messina-Lipari-Santa Lucia del Mela.

The church is located in the heart of the citadel with its front facing northwest, at the top of steps leading to the lower city. It is the oldest and largest church in Lipari. It belongs to the Archdiocese of Messina-Lipari-Santa Lucia del Mela, the vicariate of Lipari under the patronage of Bartholomew, the archpriestship of Lipari and the parish of San Bartolomeo.

Lipari Landfill

The Lipari Landill is an inactive landfill on a 6-acre (2.4 ha) former gravel pit in Mantua Township, New Jersey, United States, that was used from 1958 to 1971 as a dump site for household and industrial wastes. Toxic organic compounds and heavy metals dumped at the site have percolated into the ground water and leached into lakes and streams in the surrounding area. The site has been identified as the worst toxic dump in the United States and was ranked at the top of the United States Environmental Protection Agency's Superfund eligibility list.


Panarea (Italian pronunciation: [panaˈrɛːa]; Ancient Greek: Εὐώνυμος Euōnymos) is the second smallest (after Basiluzzo) of the eight Aeolian Islands, a volcanic island chain north of Sicily, southern Italy. It is a frazione of the comune of Lipari. There are currently about 280 residents living on the island year-round; however the population increases dramatically in summer with the influx of tourists. In recent years, the island has become known internationally for its celebrity visitors.

Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Messina-Lipari-Santa Lucia del Mela

The Archdiocese of Messina (Latin: Archidioecesis Messanensis-Liparensis-Sanctae Luciae) was founded as the Diocese of Messina but was raised to the level of an archdiocese on 30 September 1986 with the merging with the former Diocese of Lipari (5th century) and the Territorial Prelature of Santa Lucia del Mela (1206), and as suffragans the Diocese of Patti and Diocese of Nicosia.

Roman Catholic Diocese of Lipari

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Lipari was a Latin diocese of the Roman Catholic Church located in the town of Lipari in the Aeolian Islands of Sicily, Italy. The diocese consists of the entire island of Lipari as well as seven smaller adjacent islands. It is now incorporated into the Archdiocese of Messina-Lipari-Santa Lucia del Mela.

Salina, Sicily

Salina (Italian pronunciation: [saˈliːna]) is one of the Aeolian Islands north of Sicily, southern Italy. It is the second largest island in the archipelago.

Salina is divided between three comuni: Santa Marina on the eastern coast, Malfa to the north, and Leni to the south-west. From Leni down towards the sea is the village of Rinella. Above the village of Leni is Valdichiesa in the center of the island. The other smaller villages are Capo Faro, Pollara and Lingua.

There are currently approximately 4,000 residents living on the island.


Stromboli (Italian pronunciation: [ˈstromboli]; Sicilian: Struògnuli, Ancient Greek: Στρογγύλη, Strongúlē) is a small island in the Tyrrhenian Sea, off the north coast of Sicily, containing one of the three active volcanoes in Italy. It is one of the eight Aeolian Islands, a volcanic arc north of Sicily. This name is derived from the Ancient Greek name Strongúlē, which was derived from στρογγύλος (strongúlos, "round"), after the volcano's round, conical appearance when seen from a distance. The island's population is about 500. The volcano has erupted many times and is constantly active with minor eruptions, often visible from many points on the island and from the surrounding sea, giving rise to the island's nickname "Lighthouse of the Mediterranean".Stromboli's most recent major eruption was on April 13, 2009. Stromboli stands 926 m (3,038 ft) above sea level,

and over 2,700 m (8,860 ft) on average above the sea floor. There are three active craters at the peak. A significant geological feature of the volcano is the Sciara del Fuoco ("stream of fire"), a big horseshoe-shaped depression generated in the last 13,000 years by several collapses on the northwestern side of the cone. Approximately 2 km (1.2 mi) to the northeast lies Strombolicchio, the volcanic plug remnant of the original volcano.


Vulcano (Sicilian: Vurcanu) or "Vulcan" is a small volcanic island in the Tyrrhenian Sea, about 25 km (16 mi) north of Sicily and located at the southernmost end of the eight Aeolian Islands. The island is 21 km2 (8 sq mi) in area, rises to 501 m (1,644 ft) above sea level, and it contains several volcanic caldera, including one of the four active volcanoes in Italy that are not submarine.

The word "volcano", and its equivalent in several European languages, derives from the name of this island, which in turn derives from Vulcan, the Roman god of fire.

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