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Secoud only to Lipari in size, the island of Salina appears enigmatic to anyone who sees it for the first time from a distance. Almost proud of this aura of mystery that Nature chose to give her, the "Green Island" appears a very different colour from the sea, i.e. a metal-grey colour.

Situated in the heart of the Aeolian archipelago, Salina seems to be fomed by two distinct islands: actually there are two very big volcanoes, which in antiquity caused the island to be called Didyme, "twinned" or "doubled", in that it evoked the his breasts of a goddess. The island was known by this name to many erudites of the past (including Thucydides, Pausanias and Strabo), who mentioned it several times in their writings. The present-day name dates from a more recent period and is due to the Romans, who gave the island this name because of the enormous quantity of salt extracted above all in the pool of brackish water situated in the area called Lingua.

The two volcanoes mentioned are called Monte Fossa delle Felci (962 metres - the highest peak in the Aeolian Islands} and Monte Porri (860 metres). They are part of that group of six volcanoes that still make up the Island. The two "breasts" are the biggest volcanoes on the island; they are also the "youngest": It seems that they were formed in a more recent epoch.

Anyone going to Salina must realise that they will spend a period of their life far from the fashionable life. Salina is different. If the term "civilisation" means getting away from pure Humanity then consider Salina a wild island! On this island there is still that is rich and in some respects also primordial, the authentic patrimony of a territory that is never monotonous but always varied. Equally varied are the vicissitudes that accompany the populations of the island, multiform like the territory they inhabit. The beauty of Salina is also this: alongside landscapes and sunsets that many had come to believe were lost, there are multiform and complex social substrates. Who can say that differentiation of life and thought is not Richness?


The island has been inhabited since the remotest time, as we know from the archaeological sites scattered around all over it. Scholars refer at least to the end of the 5th millennium B.C. After the Hellenistic-Roman presences on the Island, then where periods of abandonment, followed by slow repopulation.

However, perhaps the abandonment was never total, thanks to the Leni valley that gave shelter to the inhabitants. The rest is well-known history. Mercantile activity attained such pro- portions that the inhabitants of Salina, above all at Santa Marina, managed to become entrepreneurs of themselves, until they achieved such a status as to want to break away at lost from the colonial dominion of Lipari. They succeeded in doing this on 7 February 1867 and Santa Marina became the chief place on the island. Unfortunately, however, In 1889 phylloxera destroyed a lot of vines, forcing many island people to move away. In 1909 the communes of Matfa and Leni came into being. They were the emblem of an ethnic-cultural diversity accentuated by the geographical divisions of a territory that was often hostile to social interpenetration.

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