Stromboli – The ancient lighthouse of the Mediterranean

Stromboli – The ancient lighthouse of the Mediterranean

Last update: 6 July 2020

Stromboli is the stuff of legends. The ancient lighthouse of the Mediterranean – it has been erupting its mesmerizing glow for over 2000 years. In such a consistent way that it has actually become the ‘type locality’ for it. When I saw its triangular shape looming on the horizon, it was pulling me like a force from the centre of the earth.

Obscured by clouds…

I bumbled up its slopes on a perfect sunny day, excited to finally see the strombolian action from up close. But when I reached the top at dusk, a relentless foggy cloud had formed around it, and the spectacular fire-breathing craters were obscured from view. Only distant rumbling in the background indicated that they were there.

View down the slope of Stromboli volcano, Italy
View down the slopes of Stromboli, with worrying amounts of fog rolling in…

View into the fog-filled craters of Stromboli volcano, Italy
Frustration! Fog-filled craters on the top…

View to the top of Stromboli volcano, Italy

Stromboli volcano lighthouse

The next evening, I was screaming out in frustration as I watched it from a distance at the observatory on the lower flank. In all its cloud-free glory… I would have climbed it again without hesitation if I’d known there was a clear view that night.

Moon over Stromboli, its craters happily steaming away in a cloudless sky.

Moon over Stromboli volcano, Italy
Beautiful! But frustrating…!

How to get to Stromboli

Stromboli is one of the Aeolian Islands, a volcanic island group just north of Sicily. Milazzo on the north eastern tip of Sicily is the departure port for several ferries to Stromboli (as well as the other Aeolian islands of Vulcano, Lipari, Panarea and Salina). It takes about 2,5 to 3 hours, depending on the route and type of boat. Another option is the overnight ferry from Naples directly to Stromboli, taking 10 to 12 hours.

Underground passage to Stromboli
Signpost to the Centre of the Earth.

And somewhere, nearly 3600 kilometres away, you can find the entrance to the underground passage to Stromboli… 😉

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(c) Nancy Claus – Wilderness Coffee & Natural High

Remote Islands – Stromboli, Italy

This post was originally published as NaturePic Challenge: a series of pictures of epic nature and places that will induce a natural high 😉

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