Planning a holiday in Sicily and wondering why visit Lipari? Imagine seven small paradises emerging from the southern Tyrrhenian Sea. Seven islands that form the charming Aeolian archipelago. This unique and pristine place has been graded as a new destination for slow tourism. Hence it’s a small world made of local flavours and naturalistic views where the eye is lost towards the infinite.
So if during your Sicilian adventure you are thinking about 3 days in Lipari, keep on reading from here.
Why visit Lipari and discover the islands
Lipari is certainly the most comfortable base to discover the Aeolian Islands. But it has nothing to envy to the little sisters. Therefore it offers unique landscapes, great historical evidence and entertainment for all tastes. In addition to its beauty, there are many ferries to and from the island.
Get cosy and discover the old town of Lipari
After checking in to your room in Villa Sea Rose, there’s nothing better than getting into the heart of island life. First of all take a stroll through the historic center. So if you’re still wondering why visit Lipari, let yourself get lost in its vibrant old town. Already walking through the alleys close to Marina Corta, you start savouring the local vibe. Marina Corta is a charming square overlooking the magical blue sea. Not to mention the archaeological treasures that you can discover inside the nearby Castle of Lipari. What is more interesting is the Archeological Museum and the churches of the fortress.
Before entering the walls, you find yourself in a narrow network of small streets that lead to the beautiful Cathedral of San Bartolomeo. Furthermore, the original nucleus of the Church dates back to the 11th century, thanks to a group of Benedictine monks. Once the tour of the castle is over, head towards Corso Vittorio Emanuele, the shopping street of Lipari. Walking along the main road you will find any kind of venue. Souvenir shops to local art, cafes and restaurants. While you are heading back home you can stop by and get some take away street food to enjoy under the porch of your terrace.
But our true advice is to head back to Marina Corta and enjoy an aperitivo facing the blue Mediterranean sea. In fact the square was historically a true natural fortress, main settlement for Greeks, Romans and a medieval citadel of the Spanish era. Now it’s the best option for a sea view aperitivo in the old town.
Second day touring the island
After your home breakfast in Villa Sea Rose your day begins with a tour around Lipari. You can choose amongst renting a car, a scooter, an e-bike or opting for a bus-walk day around the island.
First head north, direction Canneto. The town was inhabited until a few decades ago by workers from the nearby pumice quarries. However now it’s exclusively dedicated to tourism. And it offers a nice beach with many restaurants and cafes. And while strolling along the marina, your eye will captured by the islands of Panarea and Stromboli right in front of you.
Next on your list after about 10/15 minute along the coastline is the area of Porticello, or Pumice Mines of Lipari. The extraction of pumice and obsidian has been an important source of work for the island. It began in the 5th century B.C. when Pumice was used by the Greeks to create harpoons, fishing hooks or axes, while obsidian was used to make chipped blades. During the Roman age it was also used as a light building material. As a result, from the mid-eighteenth century Lipari was considered the pumice warehouse of Europe and this gave work to many families of the archipelago. The mining continued until 2007 when the factory was permanently closed and this has probably been connected to the assignment by UNESCO as World Heritage in the same year.
Due to its proximity to the sea shore this small village was born as a sleeping/working area for pumice miners. Acquacalda (lit. “hot water”) derives from the ancient presence of now disappeared thermal springs. This small town is located close to the volcanic cone of Monte Chirica, whose last eruption dates back 1600 years ago. Now the village offers a delightful beach with restaurants and cafes, from which you can enjoy a lovely sunset. Actually it’s one of the only beaches where you can really enjoy the sun until its last rays. Surely it’s a nice and quiet spot to relax and have a proper Spritz in front of the ocean.
Next on the tour we propose Quattropani. The district is famous for wine cultivation due to its favourable position facing west. Because of it’s distinctive landscape, you have different sights to visit. Certainly the most enchanting spot is the Sanctuary of Chiesa Vecchia. What we see now is the religious building that was built after the “Mary of the Chain”. Moreover, from then on the church has become a meeting place for religious pilgrimages.
Most noteworthy inside the church you find artworks such as the Holy Virgin and Child. This is an oil painting on canvas from the 18th century. Another example is the wooden statue of the Madonna della Catena, also from the 18th century. As well as the inside of the church, you should take a walk through its gardens. In all honesty, it’s one of the best views of my life.
The Belvedere of Quattrocchi is one of the most breathtaking viewpoints of the Aeolian Islands. It is a small square, about 15 minutes from the historic center of Lipari. While the previous spot was facing north-west now we are enjoying the south view of the land. So from here you can see the spectacular view of the Faraglioni of Lipari, the island of Vulcano and on clear days the Sicilian coast with Mt. Enta at the horizon.
The last day is for adventures
Since Lipari is the main hub of the islands, certainly there’s no easier way to visit the archipelago. Thus, you can opt between a day on a local fisherman boat, or a ride with the ferry. In fact, the first departs from Marina Corta whereas the second from the main port. As a result it really only depends on what you would like to do most. Therefore if you want to know more about this option, read our Daily Boat Excursions article.
Then if you’re still asking yourself why visit Lipari, keep in mind the following. The archipelago consists of 7 islands off the coast of Sicily, each with its own character. The distinctive volcanic nature, raw wildlife and deep blue Mediterranean will make your eyes gaze for wonder. After this trip certainly you will regret not having booked more nights in Lipari.
Maybe now it’s time to visit Lipari and discover the islands. If you want more information read our article How To Reach Lipari.