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Joan Levine Feb 18th, 2000 03:15 PM

Aeolian Islands, Amalfi, and Sicily
I'm planning a 19-day trip to Southern Italy in mid-June, and have heard that the Aeolian Islands, or at least Lipari, are beautiful and worth a visit, but I've not seen any reference to them on the message boards. Has anyone been there? I want to see major sites, but also want to spend some time (4-5 days) relaxing in a resort-like atmosphere. Any suggestions about the islands, or the Amalfi Coast, or Sicily??? Thanks for the help.

Janice Nagano Feb 18th, 2000 06:42 PM

Southern Italy and Sicily is the best! <BR> <BR>Although it's been about 5 years, I had a wonderful time in Lipari. We wanted to hit some other islands but the water was too choppy so we never made it to Vulcano, etc. There was a woman there, a South African ex-pat named Diana Brown, who spoke perfect English and had married an islander. She's been there about 20 years so can tell you everything about the island. Plus she runs a pension. Plus she and her husband have one of the two or three boat lines that take you to other islands. She runs an English-language book exchange and loves to receive new books. <BR> <BR>We bought beautiful pottery there (although we can't eat out of the bowls because of the lead in the glazes) and had a great time renting a moped and driving around the island. The water is an incredible turquoise blue like Bora Bora. <BR> <BR>In Sicily, we hit Taormina (beautifully upscale but touristy), rented a car to Mt. Etna (a bit of a disappointment) but the scenery along the drive was beautiful. Cefalu was a nice stop; we hiked up to ruins on the old fortress on the bluffs. Syracusa was a big city that I didn't really connect with. <BR> <BR>Wish I could have made it to Palermo or Erice. We traveled with a German guy for a while and he raved about an island off Palermo, I think, called Ustica. Never made it there either. <BR> <BR>I think I still have Diana Brown's business card. Not sure if she's still there but email me directly if you want her phone number. <BR> <BR>Have fun!

lina Feb 19th, 2000 09:59 AM

We were on Lipari in October 1999 and really loved it and want to go back this year, too. We were only there 3 days and it wasn't long enough. We liked the town of Lipari because it was a real town with interesting people and streets and great places to eat and great wandering. Also excursions are very well organized to all the islands for day trips. Really a beautiful place!

Joan Levine Feb 19th, 2000 11:26 PM

Thanks for the replies. Do you have the name of the hotel you stayed in on Lipari?

Jim Freyvogel Feb 20th, 2000 10:18 AM

Joan - I too was there in October of last year. I took a ferry from Naples to Stromboli and Lipari. It is by far the best way to go. The ferry is not fancy but it is a beautiful trip. As you approach Stromboli early in the morning you can see the volcano erupting. The ferry leaves Naples at 9:00pm, arrives in Stromboli at 6:30am then on to Lipari (after a number of other stops) arriving at 10:50am. There are two ferries a week, this time of year, but I believe there are more during the high season. Here is the website for the ferries = The site is only in Italian so if you have problems reading it just email me and I will assist you. I will also be happy to answer any other questions you may have, if I can.

Joan Levine Feb 24th, 2000 12:28 PM

I have a few more questions about Sicily (and thanks for the replies re Lipari): What is the most beautiful, resort-like place to stay in Sicily for a few days at the end of the trip? What is the best way to return to Rome from Sicily for the flight back home? Oh yes, and would you recommend renting a car in Sicily? Best to do the rental here or there?

Joanna Aug 27th, 2000 07:50 PM

Based at Vulcano, but did a day trip to Lipari. Fabulous museum at the highest point in the town with great views from its walls over the town and surrounding seas. At Vulcano stayed at Les Sables Noir, a very nice resort-style hotel next to the black sand beach. There is a mud pool down the road once you alight from the hydrofoil at Vulcano. I would also recommend climbing Vulcano (the volcano) with a guide, as long as it is still safe. Next time I hope to get to Stromboli.

lina Aug 28th, 2000 12:36 PM

For a list of hotels in Lipari with websites, go to As for the nicest resort to end your trip, I would vote for Taormina which has a splendid location high above the sea with a backdrop of Mount Etna. Also a wonderful Greek Theater. The town is very charming and very friendly to the tourists. I think the easiest way to return to Rome would be on an overnight train, but there are also day time trains, too. Check

Wendy Aug 28th, 2000 02:25 PM

We returned from Sicily in June, and had a wonderful time.I would recomend Taormina it is beautiful. We stayed at the Hotel Belvedere, a charming place close to everything. A short walk will take you to the Greek theater, and there are delightfull shops and restaurants. <BR>From the Belvedere you can see Mt Etna at night, give a little show of light( be sure to take bonoculars) <BR>We spent 2 and a half weeks in Sicily and could easily have spent more time. <BR>Loved the food, the wine the people, and the history. <BR>Have a great trip, I wish I were going back.

Richard Aug 31st, 2000 01:05 PM

Joan, If you like wide sandy beaches that you can walk to from your hotel, a little body surfing and swimming in clear water, good restaurants and nice walks, a trek to some really old fortifications, then Cefalu is the place (a Club Med is just down the road). Definitely rent a car, make arrangements here, there is much to see in Sicilia; Agrigento, Selinunte, Erice, Montreale, Castelbuono. On Lipari, we stayed at the Hotel Rocce Azzurre, room with a balcony looking over the harbor. We rented their moped and toured the island, great fun!

Al Aug 31st, 2000 03:57 PM

Joan, <BR> Several travel magazines had articles about the Aeolians last year. I think Travel and Leisure, as well as Conde Nast Traveler. ? New York Times as well, but I'm not sure. <BR> Al

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