Lipari Islands

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Lipari Islands

(lĭp`ərē), formerly

Aeolian Islands

(ēō`lēən), Ital. Isole Eolie, volcanic island group (1991 pop. 10,382), 44 sq mi (114 sq km), Messina prov., NE Sicily, Italy, in the Tyrrhenian Sea. The group includes Lipari (14.5 sq mi/37.6 sq km), an exporter of pumice and the site of Lipari, the group's main town; Salina, where malmsey wine and currants are produced; Vulcano, the site in former times of the worship of the mythical fire god, with a high volcano that emits hot sulfurous vapors; Stromboli, the northeasternmost, with an active volcano (3,040 ft/927 m) that has several craters and has been in nearly continous eruption for a millenium—noted for relatively mild explosive eruptions that are spectacularly incandescent during the night; Panarea; Filicudi; Alicudi; and 11 other islands. Fishing is an important occupation, and there is a growing tourist industry. Regarded as the site of the mythical residence of AeolusAeolus
, in Greek mythology. 1 The wind god. He lived on the island of Aeolia, where he kept the winds in a cave. 2 Son of Hellen and ancestor of the Aeolian branch of the Hellenic race.
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, the wind god, for whom they were formerly named, the islands were colonized by the Greeks in the 6th cent. B.C. Under the Roman Empire and during the Fascist regime in Italy (20th cent.) the island group served as a place of exile for political prisoners.

Lipari Islands

 

a group of volcanic islands in the Tyrrhenian Sea, north of Sicily, belonging to Italy. The archipelago consists of ten islets and seven islands (Lipari, Salina, Vulcano, Stromboli, Filicudi, Alicudi, and Panarea) with a total area of 117 sq km; they are formed primarily of basalt lavas and tuffs. There are active volcanoes on Vulcano and Stromboli (926 m). Olives, figs, and grapes are grown, and wine is exported. There are deposits of sulfur.

In 260 B.C., during the First Punic War (264–241 B.C.) the Roman navy (113 ships) destroyed the Carthaginian squadron (50 ships), which was surprised in one of Sicily’s bays near the Lipari Islands. During the fascist dictatorship in Italy (1922–43) antifascists were exiled to the islands.