Isola di Salina, Italy

Santa Marina Salina (Santa Marina Church) dominates the skyline of the port of Santa Marina, the main city on Isola di Salina, Italy, which is located near Lipari, north of Sicily_

Santa Marina Salina (Santa Marina Church) dominates the skyline of the port of Santa Marina, the main city on Isola di Salina, Italy, which is located near Lipari, north of Sicily

 

Our last port in Italy on this journey was Isola di Salina, the highest and second-largest of Italy’s Aeolian Islands (located north of Sicily).  It is part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site extolled for its exceptional volcanic origins.  The island was originally named “Didyme” (twins) because of its two mountains that look like twins.  The present name comes from the small salt lak in the village of Lingua that was once a site for the production of sea salt used for cooking and storing food such as capers and varieties of locally caught fish.  The most recent eruption of a volcano on Isola de Salina occurred in the western part of the island about 13,000 years ago.  With a population of 2,581 residents, the island is blessed with an abundance of fresh water (unlike its neighbors), allowing for the cultivation of Malvana grapes, capers, figs and olives.  The island is a popular retreat for nature lovers and hikers as well as tourists from Sicily and nearby islands who enjoy the local seafood and Sicilian favorites in the island’s restaurants.

 

The twin steeples of Santa Marina Salina (Santa Marina Church), dating back to 1622, in the town of Santa Marina, viewed from La Vela restaurant, Isola di Salina, Italy

The twin steeples of Santa Marina Salina (Santa Marina Church), dating back to 1622, in the town of Santa Marina, viewed from La Vela restaurant, Isola di Salina, Italy

 

At La Vela restaurant in Santa Marina we enjoyed an excellent Malvasia wine – a specialty of the island (note the island’s twin volcanic mountains depicted on the label) -- with our grilled fish for lunch, Isola di Salina, Italy

At La Vela restaurant in Santa Marina we enjoyed an excellent Malvasia wine – a specialty of the island (note the island’s twin volcanic mountains depicted on the label) — with our grilled fish for lunch, Isola di Salina, Italy

 

A colorful geometric pattern from adjacent doors in the town of Santa Marina, Isola di Salina, Italy

A colorful geometric pattern formed by adjacent doors in the town of Santa Marina, Isola di Salina, Italy

 

As we walked north in the town of Santa Marina along Via Risorgimento we were surprised to find two wooden “trays” of beautiful, quartered local cherry tomatoes drying in the sun on the sidewalk in front of a home, Isola di Salina, Italy

As we walked north in the town of Santa Marina along Via Risorgimento we were surprised to find two wooden “trays” of beautiful, quartered local cherry tomatoes drying in the sun on the sidewalk in front of a home, Isola di Salina, Italy

 

We were very happy to have purchased a bag of the local Isola de Salina sesame “stick” cookies at a local products store in the harbor of Santa Marina, Isola di Salina, Italy

We were very happy to have purchased a bag of the local Isola de Salina sesame “stick” cookies at a local products store in the harbor of Santa Marina, Isola di Salina, Italy

 

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