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Reference / Geography
 
Map Credit: GraphicMaps.com  
The Aeolian archipelago is located in the Tyrrhenian Sea north of the Island of Sicily. It consists of seven sister islands: Stromboli, Panarea, Lipari, Vulcano, Salina, Filicudi, and Alicudi. It is accessible today by hydrofoil from the ports of Milazzo and Messina, Sicily.

The Aeolian Islands first appeared millions of years ago when movement between tectonic plates on the ocean floor pushed mountains of molten lava out of the sea. Over thousands of years, volcanic activity has changed the face of the islands, and today volcanoes are still active on the islands of Stromboli and Vulcano.

Cultural change has been equally dramatic. Valued for their strategic geography along an ancient trading route, the Aeolian Islands were conquered and controlled by many different peoples over time, including the Sicilians, Greeks, Phoenicians, Etruscans, Carthaginians, Romans, Goths, and Saracens. Each left its legacy buried under layers of lava and rock.

Homer mythologized the Aeolian Islands in The Odyssey. According to the ancient tale, Aeolus, King of the Winds, hosted Odysseus and his crew when, tired and hungry, they landed on the shores of Lipiri. Before they left the island, Aeolus bagged the violent winds so that Odysseus could sail home to Ithaca under the power of pleasant breezes.

   
The Immigrant references the Island of Filicudi, the place from which the Sanguenanos emigrated at the turn of the century. The Sanguenano family lived in the town of Picorini Alto, which is located on the southern coast of the island.
Map Credit: Edizioni Turistiche Ippolito, Messina  
This photo shows the town of Picorini Mare in the foreground. The view is from the hills of the Stimpagnato region looking east.
Photo Credit: Riccardo Lombardo  
This photo shows some homes and a church in the town of Picorini Alto. Native Filicudati carved terraces into the side of the mountain and built homes upon them. Historically, the elevation provided safety from marauders.
Photo Credit: Riccardo Lombardo  

 

 
 
 
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