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.
3.1 Neolithic Period
3.2 Late Bronze Age
3.3 Iron Age
3.4 Greek Period
3.5 From the Middle Ages to present
3.5.1 Franco-Ottoman attack
3.6 20th century
4 Culture and media
6 See also
8 External links
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
A pumice mine just east of Acquacalda.
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. 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
Lipari is shipped worldwide.
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
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 colonists from
Knidos arrived at Lipara ~580 BC after their
first colonization attempt in
Sicily failed and their leader,
Pentathlos, was killed. 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, 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
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
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
Holy Roman Emperor Charles
In 1544, Hayreddin Barbarossa, together with the French fleet of
Captain Polin under a Franco-Ottoman alliance, ransacked
enslaved the entire population.
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".
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
During the 1930s–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
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 annual feasts of St. Bartholomew.
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 (equivalent to
about $700 in 2014).
Buddy Valastro - The Cake Boss
Francesco Scoglio - Football Coach
Natalie Imbruglia - Singer and Actress
John Sidoti MP - NSW Politician
Christian Riganò - Football player
Pia Miranda - Actress
List of volcanoes in Italy
^ Keller, J. (1969): Die historischen Eruptionen von Volcano und
Lipari. Zeitschrift der Deutschen Geologischen Gesellschaft, vol.121,
^ Gert Jan van Wijngaarden (2002) Use and Appreciation of Mycenaean
Pottery in the Levant, Cyprus and
Italy (1600-1200 BC)
^ Bernabo-Brea & Cavalier 1980
^ Diodorus Siculus 5.9, Pausanias 10.11.3-4
^ Syed, Muzaffar Husain; Akhtar, Syed Saud; Usmani, B. D.
(2011-09-14). Concise History of Islam. Vij Books India Pvt Ltd.
^ Anthony Carmen Piccirillo p.1[permanent dead link]
^ "Festa di San Bartolomeo a Lipari". www.siciliainfesta.com.
Retrieved 4 March 2018.
Lipari bans swim-suit attire from town centre". Retrieved 4 March
Ezio Giunta, dir. (2005). "Lipari". Estateolie 2005*The Essential
Guide (English version of Tourist Guidebook): 2–61.
Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Lipari.
Princeton Encyclopedia of Classical Sites
Website for Finding Nino Travelogue about living on Lipari, the 2008
winner of the ASTW Travel Book of the Year Award.
This article incorporates text from a publication now in the
public domain: Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Diocese of
Patti". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton. Patti
Comuni of the Metropolitan City of Messina
Alcara li Fusi
Barcellona Pozzo di Gotto
Castel di Lucio
Francavilla di Sicilia
Monforte San Giorgio
Nizza di Sicilia
Novara di Sicilia
Pace del Mela
San Filippo del Mela
San Marco d'Alunzio
San Pier Niceto
San Piero Patti
San Salvatore di Fitalia
Santa Domenica Vittoria
Sant'Agata di Militello
Santa Lucia del Mela
Santa Marina Salina
Sant'Angelo di Brolo
Santa Teresa di Riva
Santo Stefano di Camastra
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