Like a castle rising from the Tyrrhenian Sea, the basalt sea stack is all that remains of the core of a a volcano that may have eroded away some 200,000 years ago leaving only the central “chimney”. Stromboli Island and Strombolicchio are part of the semi-circular chain of volcanic islands known as the Aeolian Islands.
Now popular for clear waters and excellent snorkeling, in Greek mythology the Aeolian Islands were famous as the home of Aeolus, the ruler of the winds, who controlled the weather by trapping winds in a cave. According to Ernle Bradford in his book Ulysses Found, Stromboli and Strombolicchio may have been the treacherous “Wandering Rocks” - which could dash a ship to pieces as they clashed together - mentioned by Homer in The Odyssey.
The tip of the island was blasted off to accommodate the small lighthouse which was added in 1905. Visitors can climb the stairs to the top of the island, but should be warned that they may be very dangerous.
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