May 7: Lipari loop

Lipari is the largest of a chain of islands in a volcanic archipelago that straddles the gap between Vesuvius and Etna. The volcano is considered active, and steaming fumaroles and hydrothermal activity may still be seen. As a result of the volcanic origins, the island is covered with pumice and obsidian. Pumice mining had become a large industry on Lipari, and the pale pumice from Lipari was shipped internationally. The obsidian is the black glass formed during an eruption and was used in jewelry as well as for knives in that it is very sharp when broken. In 1999 the Aeolian Islands were declared a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization world heritage site (UNESCO) and all pumice and obsidian excavation and shipment came to a halt. Now all that remains of the operations are the remnants of the tools and machinery sitting quietly among the stones. However, the island has been preserved for prosperity. Lipari is also a favorite summer tourist retreat. The population of the island can easily quadrupole in July and August. Today -- the roads are quiet and a delight to ride along with the dramatic view of the sea far below. The picture perfect weather makes the experience beyond words. The blue of the Tyrrhenian Sea against the black soil with the white pumice powder sprinkled throughout frame a portrait of beauty.

The route today takes the group through the towns of Pianoconte on the west , Quattropani on the northwest, Acquacalda along the northern coast, and Canneto on the eastern shore before heading back to the town of Lipari. A wonderful circle tour of the island is had by all.

Keeping in Sicilian style lunch is a requirement! This time it is a Sicilian potato salad topped off with a granita. Granitas are THE dessert of Sicily!! Made from a semi-frozen combination of sugar, water and a flavoring, it is served with a splash of whipped cream on top to make it just a little more calorie free! It is not the gelato that has become associated with Italy, but rather a coarser version that is unique to the Sicilian life. The flavorings vary depending on the season with the most common and traditional including lemon juice, mandarin oranges, jasmine, coffee, almonds, mint and when in season wild strawberries and black mulberries.

View From Above




Along The Road



A Closer Look



Around the Bend


King Cloud On His Throne

And Again -- King Cloud

Ann in Front of the Pumice Quarry

And The Water!!

Pam and Her Granita!!

Potato Salad!

Monica and Pam Enjoying Lunch

Dario and His Women!!


The Granita Boys!!!!


Coffee Granita


The Beach

Judy "Dipping"

The Town Beach

Lipari From Afar

Prickly Pear Cactus In Bloom