I decided with a friend to go for the summer holidays to Vulcano, the largest island? south of the Aeolian archipelago, in Sicily.
First we planned to go by hydrofoil from Naples, as more? quick to reach from our city? (Mantua): with Italo train from Verona 4 and a half hours. I recommend to keep the offers under control (those who have already traveled with Italo receive them via e-mail) so we spent around 56 euros a / r each.
In Naples we decided to stay one night both on the outward and return journeys, for safety (in case of bad weather the hydrofoils do not leave).
The hydrofoil booked? of the SNAV company and does not cost very little, but in 6 hours you get to Vulcano, while the ferries are more? slow but more? cheap.
To see the rate more? convenient: http://www.directferries.it/
the links of the companies I used: https://www.snav.it/destinazioni/isole-eolie and http://www.alilauro.it/isole-eolie
In Naples we had booked at the Mergellina Hostel, as it was recommended to us why? convenient to the port from which the hydrofoils leave (Port of Mergellina in fact). In reality? we found ourselves in a very unpleasant situation, as the hostel? currently used to house refugees and displaced persons, but no one warned us. Apart from that,? reachable by crossing a very dirty and smelly underpass where they sleep without a roof,? in a state of decay and very poor cleaning. In fact, on the return we canceled and found an even more B&B? convenient to the port (practically opposite), clean and well maintained, with only the relative discomfort of the shared bathroom and a not-so-quiet location (the rooms overlook the square with a lot of traffic throughout the night) so we recommend you bring ear plugs of wax.
For the afternoon in Naples we took a walk along the seafront to Castel dell'Ovo on the way out, while on the way back we opted for a walk downtown in via Toledo, Piazza Plebiscito and via Chiaia. From Mergellina c '? line 2 of the subway that leads both to the center and to the Central Station, therefore also very convenient for this. For dinner we recommend Fratelli La Bufala, a pizzeria but also a restaurant of excellent quality. and with very affordable prices (14,30 euros for a pizza or a salad). The garden is very pleasant in the evening, while during the day enjoy the cool of the interior, reading the story of the brothers who founded this world famous chain.
For breakfast or a moment of gluttony? instead go to the Chalet Ciro, always on the seafront: a lust the "cone graffa"!
In the center instead we tried Antichi Sapori Partenopei, also the very good one.
But finally we arrive at Vulcano, the real destination of our journey.
We arrive at 21 with a little delay, but not too much, since the island? the penultimate touched by the hydrofoil, after Salina, Stromboli and Panarea, before Lipari.
Mrs. Giuseppina, the employee of Vulcano Consult, picks us up on the hydrofoil to give us the house, and she kindly takes us by car (given our suitcases, the manna from heaven).
The House ? a cute Mediterranean style studio, strategically located for everything.
Near the port where hydrofoils and excursions arrive and depart (10 min on foot), near the town with shops and restaurants (5 min), near the mud, the climb to the crater and the beaches of Acque Calde and Sabbie Nere: in short, convenient for all.
Time to fix our things and take a shower and we're ready to go to dinner at the Stevenson Cellars.
I am pleased to note that you dine late, which is not everywhere? allowed, and I immediately enter the local philosophy of life, all very relaxed and peaceful.
Having scoured the country, we go to bed early to recover from the trip.
The second day, to settle in, we go to the nearby Black Sands beach, the most? suggestive, only about twenty minutes on foot calmly, in Vulcano Ponente. Before for? we have breakfast at Remigio's, on the port of Levante, with the inevitable granita with brioches. The beach ? equipped and we take two sunbeds and an umbrella to the Baia Negra bathroom for 13 euros. L? can you? also have lunch and dinner, boats leave for excursions to the Grotta del Cavallo and Piscina di Venere and you can admire one of the most beautiful sunsets. beautiful I've ever seen, making an aperitif. Not far c ?? also the famous local Da Conti, where c '? the nightlife of Vulcano and whose music spreads all over the beach. The water ? transparent and black sand? truly suggestive: bring a container to collect some as a souvenir. On the way back we do some shopping at one of the supermarkets in the town and after a shower we have dinner at L'Approdo, with a nice peppered mussels.
After dinner, another tour of the country, where numerous banquets offer excursions to all the other islands.
We book the one for Lipari and Salina for the next day, for 28 euros each, with the Tarnav company. Before going to bed, a drink at the Geco Bar on the main street Contrada Faraglione is mandatory.
On the third day we leave for Lipari (which we will see only from the boat) and Salina, where we go down for an hour of shopping in Santa Marina Salina, after having seen the beach of Pollara from the sea, set of the film "Il postino" with Massimo Troisi. Then we get back on the boat and move to Lingua, where we swim and eat the fantastic cunzatu bread from Alfredo.
We return to Vulcano for 17 pm and continue until sunset at the Black Sands.
In the evening we have dinner with a very nice Ficodindia salad, where at the end of the meal they offer a glass of Malvasia with dry biscuits.
On the fourth day we opt to go by bus that leaves in front of the Stevenson Cellars to the Asino beach. The journey shows us the interior of the island, with prickly pear trees and views of the sea and the slopes of the volcano. It is a great way to get to know the less touristy area as well. Once off the bus, we go down a slightly steep dirt road and arrive at the beach. Here two sunbeds and umbrella cost 25 euros, but including there are wifi, shower, toilets and jeep to go up or a dinghy to go to the beach Gelso l? close. We brought the cooler and what? we have lunch with fresh fruit, which here definitely has a different flavor. Water here too? a marvel and I enjoy it even with mask and snorkel.
On the way back around 17.30 we go to see the Acque Caldo beach, which unlike the others has a rocky bottom and therefore it is better to have shoes.
On the way back, aperitif at Geko Bar and then dinner at Pescheria Da Merlin, in front of Remigio.
Here it is better to book why? ? really very popular and the tables are few. You can also choose the catch of the day and have it cooked for you.
Fifth day: last night we booked the evening tour to Lipari from the usual excursion stalls, so we stay at the Black Sands, where I book the boat to see the Grotta del Cavallo and bathe in the pool of Venus, with water that is not can you? to describe. Fifteen euros including the stories and anecdotes of Bartolo, who drives the boat. At 16.30 pm we go to the apartment for a shower and at 18 pm we set sail for Lipari.
Lipari? very beautiful and the port that slowly lights up in the light before sunset then the street lamps? magical. Tour through the main streets of Marina Corta (via Garibaldi, via Roma, San Giuseppe climb up to piazza Arti e Mestieri where there are very particular murals) and the shops, aperitif on the seafront and dinner with seafood risotto (Il Pescatore restaurant) and local wine for 18.50 euros each.
We return by midnight.
On the sixth day we decide to go to the mud pool in the late afternoon. It costs 3 euros and it is better to go with a swimsuit to throw away and beach shoes (the bottom is hot and the access to the sea is on the rocks). After spreading the mud (it is better to bring a plastic cup to collect it), can you? refresh in the sea. Personally not me? liked it a lot, but it must be tried. They say that you are impregnated with the smell of sulfur and that all clothes then need to be washed more? times, but not? so. Of course near the pool c '? a very intense smell, but for a few meters. Instead, I preferred to throw away the costume, even if they say that by washing it in vinegar then the smell of sulfur goes away (then, however, remains that of vinegar?). We were then advised to go in the morning (less hot) and what is it? also a point where you can do inhalations, but we have not tried. Dinner at the La Piazzetta restaurant, pizza and live music, very Mediterranean atmosphere.
Nothing fancy, I've eaten better pizzas but wanted to try somewhere new.
On the seventh day, the penultimate, we make the most excursion? beautiful: Panarea and Stromboli. I state that we were about to lose it by a hair, why? Tarnav had told us it would almost certainly be done, but having big ships they had to have at least six participants, so they didn't guarantee. Fortunately there was the availability? also of another company, why? in fact, the Tarnav is not? game. So I recommend taking the excursions that are guaranteed to you and even on small ships, what for? they always leave, otherwise you risk losing the opportunity (the excursions are not available every day for all the islands).
Panarea? a very chic island, all white and blue houses. The time for a tour of the shops and lunch with typical tastings (eggplant meatballs, focaccia Messina and arancini) on a terrace with a breathtaking view and off to Vulcano. Here too we dock and turn around the town, we go up to the church of San Vincenzo with a wonderful view, a meeting point for the climbs to the crater. We go down to the port and have an aperitif before leaving for 19.45 pm to go and admire the sunset on Strombolicchio, a stack, and hope to see some eruptions of the volcano. A little patience and we were satisfied 3 times. Return for 22.30 pm and sandwich at the Geko Bar before bedtime.
On Saturday, the last full day, we relax at the Health Oasis, with geothermal pools.
Before you go to pack your bags for? I pop in for the last swim at the Black Sands. I check in at the port for departure the next day and we go to dinner at Malvasia, on the advice of a lady found in the pool, for the last cunzatu bread.
On the day of departure, at 7 am, we allow ourselves the last breakfast at the bar of the port before embarking for the return to Naples.