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Italy - Sicily

Stromboli is an active volcano Island, made famous in the 1950 Ingrid Bergman movie Stromboli. Hiking to the top of Stromboli [***] rates as one of the all time adventures of our travels, and something that should not be missed on any Sicily trip.  It is a detour from the main island so does require two or three extra days in a Sicily itinerary.

 

We did the Stromboli climb as part of a three night stay on the island of Lipali.  At Lipali with signed up for a day long boat tour to Stromboli.  The boat left from the main pier in Lipali in the morning, meander through the waters of several nearby islands, with a stop for swimming and a short visit of Ginostra.  It arrived in  main town of Stromboli with time left for strolling around and an early dinner before the tour party met for a guided ascent to the cone.  The idea is to arrive at the cone after sunset for a dramatic night view of volcano activity.   The return from the top was in complete darkness, with powerful flashlights.  Back in the boat it is another two hours to return to Lipali, now navigating the waters in total darkness.

 

There are exceptional views along the way up the volcano and some very interesting hiking terrain.  The return is a thrilling  night time slide through volcano ash.  Signs on the trail warn that all hikers must be accompanied by certified guides.  We saw some folks ignoring this and hiking on the own.  We recommend taking a guided tour, especially since the hike takes you to the rim of an active volcano at night (possibly in fog) and return in total darkness through difficult terrain.  This is not something you really want to do on your own.

 

In the movie Bergman does the same or very similar hike, ending up in Ginostra.  Its' fun watching after experiencing the same in real life.  (June 2000)

 

Approximate path of the Stromboli hike is shown superimposed on an aerial image of the island.  Click image to enlarge.