Vulcano volcano:Aeolian Islands
Vulcano is an Italian volcanic island, off the coast of Sicily.It is has a "pocket sized" volcano which does not require the strenuous long hikes of Etna and Stromboli to see. Just a short boat ride from Lipari Vulcano is easily climbed with a crater rim path. The highest point on the island is 499m. This small Italian Island is well worth a visit and has a wonderfully Mediterranean pace of life. Well worth a visit.
The Geology Bit
Like Stromboli, and its Aeolian neighbours, Vulcano is part of the Calabrian Island Arc and has typically infrequent violent eruptions the last one was in 1890 from the Fossa cone. There are 3 main volcanic centres ;at the southern end of the island Monte Aria,Monte Saraceno and Monte Luccia;Gran Cratere (Fossa Cone) which sits within Lentia caldera; Vulcanello originally a separate islet which appeared in 183BC whcih was connected to Vulcano in 1550 by a pyroclastic flow. The last eruptions of 1890 devasted the island and 5m of pyroclastic material was deposited near the summit. The numerous fumeroles on the summit are closely monitored for any new activity brewing.
What to see and How to see it?
The climb to the top and crater circuit of the Fossa cone (391m) is the main highlight of Vulcano and is easily accessible to those who are reasonably fit and prepared, and takes a morning or afternoon.It is not a particularly strenuous climb but a bit rocky and ash covered. The hydrofoil and ferry stop here and small boats can bring you from Lipari.
The path heads up from Porto di Levante,past a warning sign about the hazards of the volcano! Once at the top a view of the 460m wide crater opens up. The crater is 175m deep and some rock art is visible on the crater floor.
Climbing down into the crater is not advised firstly because of poisonous gases that accumulate here and secondly its a long way back up over rough and hot ground.
The crater rim steams with fumaroles and sulphurous fumes and the smell of sulphur and rotten eggs is on the damp hot breeze. Careful where you sit and put your feet as the ground and fumes can be very hot - scalding!
An ash covered slope descends once you have circumnavigated the crater rim . Its like walking on a giant sand dune.Vulcano also has a geothermal open air mud bath with supposed health giving properties and the sea has warm water springs when you want to freshen up. Remove any metal jewellery as it will get spoilt.
A stick,gaitors an old swimming costume and towel may came in handy.
Vulcano LinksVolcanoworld: Vulcano Stromboli online:Vulcano