AEOLIAN ISLANDS ARCHAEOLOGICAL PARK
There are ancient and perfectly preserved settlements scattered in some remote corners of the Tyrrhenian Sea. We are talking about the stunning archaeological sites of the Aeolian Islands.
We arrive at Lipari and visit the Archaeological Park of the Aeolian Islands. We head for the Lipari Castle, where we visit the Museum. The exhibition develops into six thematic pavilions. Each pavilion shows the archipelago civilisations history, from Prehistory to the Modern Age and the evolution of their settlements.
Since 2014, in the former prison, a permanent contemporary art exhibition has been on display. Its title is “Mare Motus“, it focuses on “freedom, the sea, the escape”. The most important monument on Lipari is the remains of the city walls built in the 4th century BC. We visit the archaeological area of Contrada Diana.
Among the buildings from the Roman period, we can admire the baths with mosaic floors. Some monuments are viewable outside on an urban walkway (Greek tower and funerary hypogea). If we like trekking and want to enjoy the fresh air, we can explore the Prehistoric Village of Capo Graziano. We will see the remains of 27 oval-shaped dwellings dating back to 1700 BC. In the area, we also visit the Terme San Calogero. In this compound, dating from the Ancient Bronze Age, the tholos stove is still active. But also visible are the channels, tubs and pools from the Greek and Roman periods. The system conveyed hot sulphurous water.
Ready to leave again? This time we travel through the archipelago islands to the beautiful island of Panarea. We visit the Punta Milazzese prehistoric village (1500-1300 BC). The site is a natural fortress, hard to access. Excavations have found many Mycenean pottery fragments.
In Salina, we can see other finds from prehistoric times. In the Village of Portella, we can visit 25 huts in an extraordinary state of conservation. The structures have an oval plan with a 3-4 m diameter. The settlement had the function of collecting and storing rainwater. To the north of the Santa Marina promenade, there is also a thermal complex dating from Roman times. To the south of the island is the Neolithic site of Rinella (6th millennium BC). Together with Castellaro Lipari, they are the oldest human settlements in the Aeolian Islands. Heading further south, we can visit the Saline di Lingua. It is a natural lake, and at its bottom are the remains of ancient salt production equipment (Roman age).
The last stop on our journey is Filicudi, one of the wildest and most distant islands. Here we will visit the archaeological village of Filo Braccio. It is the oldest settlement related to the facies of Capo Graziano. It was identified by the archaeologist Bernabò Brea as the legendary Eoli people (from whom the archipelago seems to have taken its name). From these dwellings come the oldest traces of wine grapes. The Filicudi Museum, dedicated to Bernabò Brea, is the last stop on our journey. It is inside a typical two-storey Aeolian house. The Museum has two sections: the ethno-anthropological one and the archaeological one. Inside, we will see many archaeological finds from different sites and eras. The items displayed date back between the end of the 19th century and the middle of the 20th century.