‘In Stromboli, love is Greek’
These sentence welcomes you on the island of Stromboli. You can see it on the walls of the small shops in the only main road, which leads you to the mysterious and wild heart of the volcanic island. Love is Greek, and Stromboli – an ancient Greek colony, as all of Sicily – is definitely the island of love. Here the most popular lovers met and loved each other.
Arriving at Stromboli’s small port always offers an impressive sight, with the majestic volcano in the background. A constant presence, still alive as the rumbling sound confirms, bewitching and frightening at the same time.
One can’t avoid noticing the fact that there are no cars at all, no wild drivers, no traffic noise. Just a few electric scooters. It’s a wonderful feeling, because you understand you really are going to have a break and relax.
Walking in the small main road, you can see how everything is graceful, on the side there is a line of small shops, but without any annoying confusion as one would expect in other touristic destinations. Everything is in the right size, as someone reduced a town and moved it on the island.
Stromboli features several fashions of tourism which allow to discover it from different sides. Beside the usual beach activity – which still holds its charm – you should have at least one snorkelling trip and enjoy the lively aquatic scenes. If you are even more adventurous you might also consider a dive at Strombolicchio, the island’s neck, a volcanic promontory still hosting an old navy lighthouse.
While visiting Stromboli, don’t miss the chance for a wonderful boat trip and, once sailing the waves, wait for the sunset between Filo del Fuoco (‘Fire Line’, north-east) and Filo di Baraona (‘Baraona Line’, south-west). You will be able to enjoy a majestic show of small incandescent volcanic stones – ‘Sciara del fuoco‘ – threw in the sea in a vortex of smoke and colours.
But the island is also an excellent scenario for walkers, as the unforgettable hike to the volcano will undoubtedly prove. This trip is usually done in small groups and the less experienced visitors may want to hire a guide. The best time to start the hike is in the afternoon, around five o’clock: this way, after about two hours and a half – including breaks – you will get on the top around sunset, in order to enjoy the incredible show of lava gushing from Stromboli’s crater, with the reddish sun in the background.
During your stay on the island you will also see a little red house – every other building has the typical white and blue colours of mediterranean architecture. It’s the house of Ingrid Bergman and Roberto Rossellini, the place where the two world renown artists loved each other and worked on the movie ‘Stromboli’ in 1949.
A lively night life is granted by a number of clubs and bars, but if you want to experience something special you’ll have to attend the Fire Festival (Festa del Fuoco) at the beginning of September, when international artists and a large audience gather here to celebrate the mix of water and fire with spectacular exhibitions and a showcase of ancient traditions.