While brainstorming where to go this summer, a friend told us about the Aeolian Islands in Italy as a destination. It was interesting to arrive in Italy and still hear the Aussie accent all around. Our friend’s grandmother is originally from there before their family immigrated to Australia, and it seemed to be similar stories for a lot of people on the island when we were visiting.
Getting to the Aeolian Islands was an adventure in itself. From London, we took a 3-hour flight to Catania, a 2-hour bus ride to Milazzo, then a 1-hour ferry to Lipari. Chartering a private boat to island-hop is an option, but we didn’t have that kind of budget. It really wasn’t too bad, the ferry was a good break in the day to take a quick little nap. Luckily we were able to rent a scooter for one of the days and it was enough to check out the majority of the island. It was the easiest way to get around with all the tiny hilly streets, lots of areas were single-lane and the cars could barely fit.
Pumice at Havana Beach
The Aeolian islands have a volcanic origin, and past eruptions created lots of pale white pumice. There are beautiful photos of pumice beach by the old mining caves, but we read somewhere that the actual beach by the mining caves is now more grey than it is white. We were lucky to randomly stop by Havana beach and still experience the white pumice first hand.
Cathedral, Ruins, Cats
It’s a short walk from our Airbnb apartment to the Cattedrale di San Bartolomeo. In the area there are ancient ruins and a cat sanctuary, which meant lots of photo sessions with cute kitties.
Diving and snorkeling
I wasn’t brave enough to try a beginner dive, but also didn’t want to miss the chance to see any reefs – so I went along with snorkel gear instead. Since I’m not a strong swimmer I was offered a wet suit along with my fins, which made me super buoyant. It was my first experience going on a dive boat, and it was rad! We were taken to a tiny rock formation in the middle of the sea and it was pretty cool to swim with big schools of these small, black, disc-shaped fish. There were lots of jellyfish on one side of the little island, luckily nobody was stung.
Around the island