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The “far away twins” Alicudi and Filicudi are the westernmost islands of the Aeolian Archipelago. This makes them the most charming too. Not too long ago, there was no water nor streets, on these islands. Those who decided to live there really loved them, or just wanted to disappear for a while! Today, Alicudi and Filicudi are also a tourist place but less crowded than the bigger islands. Of course, to live an experience of vacation there leaves a beautiful mark, inside. Let’s go learn more about them, on a virtual tour.

Alicudi, the heather island

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The name Alicudi comes from ancient Greek word Erikussa, that is heather. This plant, in fact, was and still is the symbol of the island. Set 34 marine miles from Lipari – which is the main municipality – this island is the westernmost point of the archipelago. Mount Filo dell’Arpa dominates the small land. It used to be a volcano, with a large body reaching 1500 m. under sea level.

Its name means “mount of arpa“, as the word “arpa” there indicates the buzzard bird of prey. Buzzards in fact are everywhere on the island. The land is bare and dry, but men were able to cultivate something anyway, especially on the south-eastern flank of the crater. There is only one village, at the foot of the many terracings.  Alicudi is the paradise of nature lovers who go there to admire birds of prey, crows, red herons, pelicans and other marine birds. The beautiful vegetation includes capers, brooms, mastic and olive trees.

More to see: the Pierced Rock, Palumba Rock, the small churches of Carmine – in the village – and St Bartolo on the hill. You must admire also the typical Aeolian houses, with roofs planned in order to gather rain. Did you know that … at Pianicello-San Bartolo live a group of brave Germans in small houses with no water and no electricity?

Filicudi and the witches

Closer to the main  islands, at 24 miles from Lipari, Filicudi is also a part of this municipality. Different from Alicudi, this island is less wild. The seven main hills used to be craters, now extinct. The most beautiful of them is Mount Fossa delle Felci, where many ferns grow. There is only one road, connecting the villages Porto, Valdichiesa,

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Pecorini, Pecorini a Mare, Canale and Rocca. Only 200 people live on Filicudi all year long.

In Filicudi you can admire the Prehistoric Village of Filo Braccio, the Neolithic Village of Capo Graziano, the Giant Rock, the Cave of Bue Marino, the ancient millstones and the viewpoint of Stimpagnato (spectacular at sunset). Those who love nature, there can admire peregrine falcons, cuckoo falcons and a splendid Mediterranean bush. Did you know that…  Filicudi was known in the past as the “island of the witches”? People were told that among the numerous ferns of the island, at dawn, magical flowers blossomed. They were the favourite flowers of women experts in black magic …and of the devil himself!

The beaches of Alicudi and Filicudi

Undoubtedly you go to Alicudi and Filicudi also and above all to relax and to enjoy the sun and the sea. Among the beaches of Alicudi we recommend La Bazzina. It is formed by small pebbles that plunge into a shallow sea. The Porto beach is the best equipped for tourists.

In Filicudi the most beautiful beach is Capo Graziano, while the most touristic is the one near the village of Filicudi Porto. Pecorini a Mare is the most romantic, instead. If you look for magic, though, go walk the panoramic path that leads to the intimate and wild  Le Punte beach.

How to get to Alicudi and Filicudi

Both islands can be reached by ferries and hydrofoils departing from Milazzo (Messina). Usually the first landing is Pecorini a Mare, at Filicudi, but in the summer you can also arrive at Filicudi Porto. The same hydrofoils that stop in Filicudi will then take you to the only port of Alicudi. (the photo above the title by Grazia Musumeci)

Autore: Grazia Musumeci

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