Island of Vulcano in Sicily Italy

Vulcano is a small volcanic island in the Tyrrhenian Sea, about north of Sicily and the southernmost of the eight Aeolian Islands. It is in area, rises to above sea level, and contains several volcanic centers, including one of four active non-submarine volcanoes in Italy.

History

The Romans used the island mainly for raw materials, harvesting wood and mining alum and sulfur. This was the principal activity on the island until the end of the 19th Century. When the Bourbon rule collapsed in 1860 (see Francis II of the Two Sicilies) a British man named James Stevenson bought the northern part of the island, built a villa, reopened the local mines and planted vineyards for grapes that would later be used to make Malmsey wine. Stevenson lived on Vulcano until the last major eruption on the island, in 1888. The eruption lasted the better part of two years, by which time Stevenson had sold all of his property to the local populace, and never returned to the island. The villa is still intact. Currently, around 470 people live on the island, mainly deriving their income from tourism. It is a few minutes hydrofoil ride from Lipari and has several hotels and cafes, the important attractions being the beaches, hot springs and sulfur mud baths.

Geology

The volcanic activity in the region is largely the result of the northward-moving African Plate meeting the Eurasian Plate. There are three volcanic centres on the island:

At the southern end of the island are old stratovolcano cones, Monte Aria (501 m), Monte Saraceno (481 m) and Monte Luccia (188 m), which have partially collapsed into the Il Piano Caldera.

The most recently active centre is the Gran Cratere at the top of the Fossa cone, the cone having grown in the Lentia Caldera in the middle of the island, and has had at least 9 major eruptions in the last 6000 years.

At the north of the island is Vulcanello, 123 metres high, and is connected to the rest of it by an isthmus which is flooded in bad weather. It emerged from the sea during an eruption in 183 BC as a separate islet. Occasional eruptions from its three cones with both pyroclastic flow deposits and lavas occurred from then until 1550, the last eruption creating a narrow isthmus connecting it to Vulcano.

Vulcano has been quiet since the eruption of the Fossa cone on 3 August 1888 to 1890, which deposited about 5 metres of pyroclastic material on the summit. The style of eruption seen on the Fossa cone is called a Vulcanian eruption, being the explosive emission of pyroclastic fragments of viscous magmas caused by the high viscosity preventing gases from escaping easily. This eruption of Vulcano was carefully documented at the time by Giuseppe Mercalli. Mercalli described the eruptions as "...Explosions sounding like a cannon at irregular intervals..." As a result vulcanian eruptions are based on this description. A typical vulcanian eruption can hurl blocks of solid material several hundreds of metres from the vent. Mercalli reported blocks from the 1888-1890 eruption fell in the sea between Vulcano and Lipari, several were photographed by him or his assistants that had fallen on the island of Vulcano.

Mythology

The Ancient Greeks named the island Therassía (Θηρασία) and Thérmessa (Θέρμεσσα, source of heat). The island appeared in their myths as the private workshop of the Olympian god Hephaestus, protector of the blacksmiths; he owned another two at Etna and Olympus. Strabo also mentions Thermessa as sacred place of Hephaestus, but it's not clear if it was a third name for the island, or just an adjective. Similarly the Romans believed that Vulcano was the chimney of the god Vulcan's workshop and therefore named the island after him. The island had grown due to his periodic clearing of cinders and ashes from his forge. The earthquakes that either preceded or accompanied the explosions of ash etc., were considered to be due to Vulcan making weapons for Mars and his armies to wage war.

Island of Stromboli, Sicily Italy

Stromboli (Ancient Greek: Strongulē) 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 Strongulē which was given to it because of its round swelling form. The island's population is between 400 and 850. 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". The most recent major eruption was on 13 April 2009. Stromboli stands 926 m (3,034 ft) above sea level.

The Aeolian Islands in Sicily, Italy

Messina is the capital of the Italian province of Messina. It is the 3rd largest city on the island of Sicily, and the 13th largest city in Italy, with a population of more than 252,000 Population Geonames Geographical database inhabitants in the city proper and about 650,000 in the province. It is located near the northeast corner of Sicily, at the Strait of Messina, opposite Villa San Giovanni on the mainland, and has close ties with Reggio Calabria. The city's main resources are its seaports (commercial and military shipyards), cruise tourism, commerce, and agriculture (wine production and cultivating lemons, oranges, mandarin oranges, and olives). The city has been a Roman Catholic Archdiocese and Archimandrite seat since 1548 and is home to a locally important international fair. The city has the University of Messina, founded in 1548 by Ignatius of Loyola.

History

Founded by Greek colonists in the 8th century BC, Messina was originally called Zancle, from the meaning " scythe" because of the shape of its natural harbour (though a legend attributes the name to King Zanclus). A comune of its province, located at the southern entrance of the Strait of Messina, is to this day called 'Scaletta Zanclea'. In the early 5th century BC, Anaxilas of Rhegium renamed it Messene in honour of the Greek city Messene . The city was sacked in 397 BC by the Carthaginians and then reconquered by Dionysius I of Syracuse. In 288 BC the Mamertines seized the city by treachery, killing all the men and taking the women as their wives. The city became a base from which they ravaged the countryside, leading to a conflict with the expanding regional empire of Syracuse. Hiero II, tyrant of Syracuse, defeated the Mamertines near Mylae on the Longanus River and besieged Messina. Carthage assisted the Mamertines because of a long-standing conflict with Syracuse over dominance in Sicily. When Hiero attacked a second time in 264 BC, the Mamertines petitioned the Roman Republic for an alliance, hoping for more reliable protection. Although initially reluctant to assist lest it encourage other mercenary groups to mutiny, Rome was unwilling to see Carthaginian power spread further over Sicily and encroach on Italy. Rome therefore entered into an alliance with the Mamertines.

In 264 BC, Roman troops were deployed to Sicily, the first time a Roman army acted outside the Italian Peninsula. At the end of the First Punic War it was a free city allied with Rome. In Roman times Messina, then known as Messana, had an important pharos (lighthouse). Messana was the base of Sextus Pompeius, during his war against Octavian. Messana After the fall of the Roman Empire, the city was successively ruled by Goths from 476, then by the Byzantine Empire in 535, by the Arabs in 842, and in 1061 by the Norman brothers Robert Guiscard and Roger Guiscard (later count Roger I of Sicily). In 1189 the English King Richard I, ("The Lionheart") stopped at Messina en route to the Holy Land and briefly occupied the city after a dispute over the dowry of his sister, who had been married to William the Good, King of Sicily Messina may have been the harbour at which the Black Death entered Europe: the plague was brought by Genoese ships coming from Caffa in the Crimea. In 1548 St. Ignatius founded there the first Jesuit college in the world, which later gave birth to the Studium Generale (the current University of Messina). The Christian ships that won the Battle of Lepanto (1571) left from Messina: the Spanish author Miguel de Cervantes, who took part in the battle, recovered for some time in the Grand Hospital.

The city reached the peak of its splendour in the early 17th century, under Spanish domination: at the time it was one of the ten greatest cities in Europe. In 1674 the city rebelled against the foreign garrison. It managed to remain independent for some time, thanks to the help of the French king Louis XIV, but in 1678, with the Peace of Nijmegen, it was reconquered by the Spaniards and sacked: the university, the senate and all the privileges of autonomy it had enjoyed since the Roman times were abolished. A massive fortress was built by the occupants and Messina decayed steadily. In 1743, 48,000 died of plague in the city. "Epidemiology by Samuel K Cohn JR. Medical History. In 1783, an earthquake devastated much of the city, and it took decades to rebuild and rekindle the cultural life of Messina. In 1847 it was one of the first cities in Italy where Risorgimento riots broke out. In 1848 it rebelled openly against the reigning Bourbons, but was heavily suppressed again. Only in 1860, after the Battle of Milazzo, the Garibaldine troops occupied the city. One of the main figures of the unification of Italy, Giuseppe Mazzini, was elected deputy at Messina in the general elections of 1866. Another earthquake of less intensity damaged the city on 16 November 1894. The city was almost entirely destroyed by an earthquake and associated tsunami on the morning of 28 December 1908, killing about 60,000 people and destroying most of the ancient architecture. The city was largely rebuilt in the following year. It incurred further damage from the massive Allied air bombardments of 1943. The city was awarded a Gold Medal for Military Valour and one for Civil Valour in memory of the event and the subsequent effort of reconstruction. In June 1955, Messina was the location of the Messina Conference of Western European foreign ministers which led to the creation of the European Economic Community. Messina has a light rail system that was opened on 3 April 2003. This line is and links the city's central railway station with the city centre and harbour. Low floor double-ended trams built by Alston Ferroviaria.

The Aeolian Islands in Sicily, Italy

The Aeolian Islands are a volcanic archipelago in the Tyrrhenian Sea north of Sicily, named after the demigod of the winds Aeolus. The locals residing on the islands are known as Aeolians. The Aeolian Islands are a popular tourist destination in the summer, and attract up to 200,000 visitors annually. Because the largest island is Lipari, the islands are sometimes referred to as the Lipari Islands or Lipari group. The other islands include Vulcano, Salina, Stromboli, Filicudi, Alicudi,and Panarea.

Geography

The present shape of the Aeolian Islands is the result of volcanic activity over a period of 260,000 years. There are two active volcanoes - Stromboli and Vulcano. The volcanic activity of steaming fumaroles and thermal waters are on most of the islands. Scientifically the archipelago is defined as a volcanic arc. The origin of the Aeolian Islands is due to movement of the Earth's crust as a result of plate tectonics. The African continental shelf is in constant movement towards Europe. The resulting collision has created a volcanic area with ruptures in the Earth's crust with consequent eruptions of magma. The "Aeolian Arc" extends for more than , but the area of geological instability caused by the collision of Africa and Europe is much larger. It includes Sicily, Calabria, and Campania together with Greece and the Aegean islands. The complex of the eight Aeolian Islands, covering an area of 1,600 square kilometres, originated from a great plain at the bottom of the Tyrrhenian sea. Emissions of lava from depths of up to 3,600 metres resulted in the formation of the Aeolian Islands, together with Ustica and a series of submarine volcanoes named Magnani, Vavilov, Marsili and Palinuro, as well as two that are unnamed.

Profile

Curbing urban development has been a key to preserving the Aeolian islands in a natural state. New buildings are severely restricted. Existing residences can be bought and restored but must be constructed to resemble its whitewashed houses. Traditional houses consist of modular cubes constructed from indigenous building materials—stone, lava, pumice and tufo. Almost all houses have a large outdoor terrace, usually shaded by grape-vines and flowering vines. The houses, balconies and terraces are mostly decorated with brightly patterned terra-cotta tiles, a throwback to long-ago Spanish conquerors.

History

4000–2500 BC The first evidence of Sicilian migration was in Lipari (Castellaro Vecchio). A manufacture and commerce of obsidian objects was highly developed until the introduction of metals. 1600–1250 BC During the Bronze Age, the Aeolians prospered by means of maritime commerce in an area which extended from Mycenae to the British isles, from where tin was imported. Villages on the Aeolian islands flourished on Capo Graziano (Filicudi), Castello (Lipari), Serro dei Cianfi (Salina), Capo Milazzese (Panarea), and Portella (Salina). All these settlements were destroyed by the new Italic invasions in 1250 BC. 1240–850 BC The Aeolian Islands were occupied by the Ausonians led by Liparus. Liparus was succeeded by Aeolus whose house, according to Homer, gave hospitality to Odysseus. 6th–4th century BC In 580 BC, Greeks exiled from Rhodes and Knidos landed at Lipari and began a period of Greek domination, which was known for acts of piracy against Etruscan and Phoenician shipping. There was fine work in the production of vases and other ceramics. 3rd century BC – 3rd century AD The islanders were allies of the Carthaginians against Rome. Although the Battle of the Lipari Islands in 260 BC led to Carthaginian victory, the Romans later sacked Lipari and their domination led to a period of poverty. 4th–10th century AD At the fall of the Roman empire, the Aeolian Islands came under the sway of the barbarian Visigoths, the Vandals and the Ostrogoths, followed by the harsh domination of the Byzantine empire. In the year 264, a coffin which contained the body of Bartholomew was washed upon the beach of Lipari, with the result that Bartholomew was immediately elected the Patron Saint of the Aeolian Islands. Calogerus the hermit was active on Lipari during the first half of the 4th century and he gave his name to the thermal springs. In 836 the Saracens sacked Lipari, massacred the population, and enslaved the survivors. 11th–15th century AD The Normans liberated Sicily from the Arabs and laid the foundations of a period of good government and renewal. King Ruggero sent the Benedictine monks to Lipari, which gave rise to considerable development on the islands. A cathedral dedicated to Saint Bartholomew was built, as well as the Benedictine monastery in the castle. Lipari became a bishopric and agriculture made progress in Salina, as well as the smaller islands.

In 1208 Frederick II of Swabia acceded to the throne of Sicily. The period of prosperity which followed, and which was consolidated during the course of his reign, ended with the domination of the Angevins and the rebellion of the Sicilians which culminated in the revolt of the Sicilian Vespers. The Aeolians however, remained loyal to Charles of Anjou, and commercial links were established with Naples, the capital of the Angevin kingdom. In 1337 Lipari opened its gates to the French fleet without resistance, and in return obtained various commercial and fiscal benefits. In the middle of the 15th century, Naples and Palermo united in the Kingdom of the two Sicilies under the crown of Alfonso V of Aragon. The Aeolian privileges were recognized. Aeolian privateers fought alongside the Spanish against the French. 16th–20th century AD On June 30, 1544, a fleet of 180 Turkish vessels under the command of the great corsair Ariadeno Barbarossa occupied Lipari and laid siege to the castle. The desperate defense of Lipari was no match for the terrible havoc caused by the Muslim cannonade, and the defenders surrendered. 9,000 of the 10,000 citizens of Lipari were captured and enslaved. Many had already been killed while others were finished off while attempting to escape. A number of citizens were ransomed in Messina and returned to the islands. Only after the tragedy did the Spanish authorities turn their attention to Lipari and repopulate the city with Sicilian, Calabrian and Spanish families. The city walls and houses were rebuilt and an Aeolian fleet was constructed which was able to successfully defend the Tyrrhenian Sea from the Turks. At the beginning of the year 1693, an earthquake destroyed all the towns in eastern Sicily, causing 140,000 deaths. After the population invoked the protection of Saint Bartholomew during prayers in the cathedral, there was not a single victim on the Aeolian Islands. The economic conditions of the islands improved greatly during the 17th century with agricultural progress (malvasia grapes, Capers, excellent variety of fruit, vegetables and fishing). With the Bourbons came the affliction of criminal and political prisoners. This unhappy imposition continued and worsened until the unification of Italy. In 1916, the penal colony was closed but the fascist regime tried to reopen it in 1926 — in vain. The island population reacted by pulling down the remains of the ex-penitentiary in the castle. However, not long after, the castle was converted to accommodate anti-fascist political prisoners in enforced exile. Liparians fraternized with these exiles until the Liberation. After the war, the same room that had housed the opponents of fascism became the Aeolian Archaeological Museum. Towards the end of the 19th century, the Aeolian Islands were visited by Archduke Ludwig Salvator of Austria — a friend of the islands and also a man with a profound knowledge of the archipelago. Between the years 1893-96 he published a work of eight volumes on the Aeolian Islands. In August 1888, the crater named Fossa on Vulcano erupted and caused many deaths in the sulphur mines. The eruptions continued for 19 months.

Messina Province, sicily region

messina-province-map

Messina (Italian: Provincia di Messina; Sicilian: Pruvincia di Missina) is a province in the autonomous island region of Sicily in Italy. Its capital is the city of Messina.

Geography

It has an area of which amounts to 12.6 percent of total area of the island, and a total population of more 650,000. There are 108 comuni (singular: comune) in the province link, see Comuni of the Province of Messina. The province includes the Aeolian Islands, all part of the comune of Lipari (with the exception of Salina). The territory is largely mountainous, with the exception of alluvial plain at the mouths of the various rivers. The largest plain is that in the area between Milazzo and Barcellona Pozzo di Gotto, which, together with Messina, form a metropolitan area of some 500,000 inhabitants, one of the largest in southern Italy. Much of the population is concentrated in the coastal area, after the hill towns have been largely abandoned from the 19th century. The main mountain ridges are the Peloritani, up to in elevation, and the Nebrodi, up to , which are included in a Regional Natural Reserve. Rivers of the province include the Alcantara and the Pollina, which forms the border with the province of Palermo to the west.

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