Category Archives: Aeolian Islands

Sicily – a angry island.

I wrote some time ago about the Italian revolution. I will in this post set focus on Sicily.
Sicily has been invaded and controlled by Greece, Arabs, Cartago, Normands, Spain as documented by John Julius Norwich in his book “Sicily – a short history” and was later abandoned to criminals and mafia by the Italian State. John Julius Norwich wrote in his preface that the Sicilians are a sad people. I maybe understand why.
Now Sicily is under attack from Corona taken with people who thought Sicily is a good place to live in now.
We got a corona case on my neighbor island Salina, one with a young girl that couldn’t resist Sicilian nostalgy and remain in North Italy. Sicily has got several more corona cases, recently in nearby Milazzo and Barcellona.
The Mayor of MessinaC, has done and is having a strong fight to protect Sicily from Corona. Many illegals are taking the Ferry in Calabria to come to Messina and Sicily
The Italian ministry of interior said that all the cars embarking on the ferry are commuters that are allowed to come to Messina.
The mayor has documented several cases of people not allowed to take the ferry and that people are able to buy train tickets in Italy to come to Sicily.

The Mayor of Messina Cateno De Luca invited mayors form nearby municipalities to go to Villa San Giovanni (the Calabrian ferry harbour) to check were the people come from and why they want to go to Sicily.


Now 40 cars are blocked in Villa as not being allowed to take the Ferry. They have obviously been allowed to pass the Autostrada checkpoints in other northern  regions, Campania and others.


Now these 40 cars block trucks who deliver to Sicilian supermarkets food, water and other merchandise that Sicily needs.
It is not the best option to be a beautiful island in these pandemia days.
The Sicilian region president Musumeci said days ago, “we have won over mafiosi, we will also win over corona”. But this can not be done with a Italy that does not care about Sicily and apply laws and ordinances.
The Messina MayorCateno De Luca represents for me the Sicilian spirit, a angry Sicily rather than a sad one.
You may share my post to news or friends if you want.
Greetings from Lipari,
0 cases so far on our island, thanks among others to our good and caring Mayor Marco Giorgianni

Italian lack of punctuality

introduction  writes this in the post “Italian punctuality: reliably unreliable”:

“Italian punctuality can at times feel like an oxymoron, even though to many Italians, unpunctuality is a constant annoyance.

In saying ‘sometime around’ many Italians are secretly implying a time you’re expected to arrive (9pm) while giving themselves a 15 window of time to arrive. with the Italian tendency to delay or push back deadlines, it could be later still. This habit seems more prevalent the further south in Italy you go, … “  is harder in its critics,  writing 

“Those of you who, like me, know a number of Italians, have probably realised that most have little or NO concept of time and punctuality,

The Italymagazine editor  continues with:

“But this seems to be an endemic part of the Italian make up. They never keep to time in their personal lives.”

I have done business with Italians since 1995. I agree with italymagazine especcially here in Sicily. I have always thought the Sicilians are slower less willing to stress because of the heat. I may be wrong.

I myself tend instead to come to meetings  before time to avoid the stress and prevent unexpected events that may delay me. I love walking slowly the last meters to destination especially with the Sicilian Summer heat. And I do not want others to loose their precious time. As John in the video I share below

“Time is the  most important human resource”. We dont live 400 years like Abraham.  Don’t we?

If i visit my doctor I am prepared for a waiting session as I know that a patients illness before me may require more time than expected by the doctor. I have experience of very long  waiting times in Swedish hospitals. So, when I visit a doctor I plan for a longer wait with a newspaper or spending the time planning the rest of my day or week or ejoying a talk with other patients.

I am trying to find a solution for unexpected waiting time. Shall I become a time robber coming late too? But as writes, Italians expect others to be punctual.



Punctual people.

I like to listen to this Youtubeas he is making a little bit fun about himself.


Time robbers

I dont find any site telling about lack of punctuality and time stealing. But I find a lot of sites telling about time robbers. The best slide i found was this:

But as you can see this table just list factors that steal time from you. But time robbers may be stealing your time because these factors steal time from them.

I presume that two factors are the main contributors of Italian lack of punctuality:

  1. poor planning
  2. Phone calls and Inability to say “no”
  3. Taking on to much and ineffective or lacking of delegation

1. I have noted that very few Italian may use a calendar, paperback nor digital. I have not met anyone using this technique.
2, When I had a meeting, if someone else called, I have never heard “Sorry I have a meeting now. can I call you back when I am ready?”

only once in my Italian experience, I  heard “Sorry for being late”


How to stop being late

Maybe this video gives you a few hints

For me the most valuable tips are:

  1. Build margin in the calendar
  2. Cut off things
  3. Change your attitude having “no” as your defaults answer
  5. Plan to be early and plan something enjoyable to do while you wait.
  6. Make deadlines non-negotiable
  7. Know you personality type.
    Psychologist Dr. Linda Sapadin identified four chronically late personality types:

    1. perfectionists should be optimalist instead
    2. dreamers are often overoptimistic with time.
    3. crisis makers should practice adrenalin sports instead.
    4. Defiers  who hates being told what to do  should instead  rebel against social norms that are actually harmful
  8. Sourcve;:

Academic quarter

Perhaps the solution is the Swedish “akademisk kvart” (“Academic quarter” German “Akademisches Viertel”, Italian: “Quarto d’ora accademico”

I have found a Italian site about “Quarto d’ora accademico” in che tra l’altro dice degli italiani “non siamo in generale rigidi nel rispetto delle regole, almeno nelle regole dell’orario e della puntualità. Questa mancanza di capacità di stare alle regole, di stare nel “recinto” delle regole, se da una parte è una mancanza di rispetto verso chi invece le regole le rispetta, dall’altra ci dà probabilmente la capacità di stare al di fuori della logica comune, e questo porta l’italiano ad una maggiore creatività, una maggiore inventiva, una maggiore capacità di inventare e di lavorare con la fantasia. Questa ovviamente può essere una delle possibili interpretazioni, una delle tante.”

I reallt wonder if this time culture helps the Italians to become more creative “porta l’italiano ad una maggiore creatività“. Creativity depends on your time of relax. The Italian siesta and relax is I think a better space for creativity.


How to deal with the Italian lack of Punctuality

the academic quarter was not permitted in compulsory school in Sweden. But this academic culture is maybe a solution. Shall I plan with coming sometime within 15 minutes? I don’t have a answer yet, how to deal with this issue.  I see however  no reason to come before as this would make me still more irritated if the others come late.

or like John says in his youtube above “I try to be less early”

I like the idea sugggests:

Plan to be early and plan something enjoyable to do while you wait.”

so If someone comes late I can go and take a cup of granita?

It is Shangri-La you need to experience.

Jesse Nash, USA in Black Tie said: “There is a little piece of paradise than many travellers may not be aware of. The Aeolian Islands (Italian Isole Eolie) are a just such a place, a volcanic archipelago in the Tyrrhenian Sea north of Sicily. It is Shangri-La you need to experience. Many in Europe and Italy already know about this wonderful place. It’s time for you to make your next dream vacation and the Aeolian Islands couldn’t be a better choice. The largest island is Lipari, and tourism marketing often names the entire archipelago the Lipari Islands because of the ease of pronouncing Lipari compared to Aeolian. The other islands include Vulcano, Salina, Stromboli, Filicudi, Alicudi, Panarea and Basiluzzo. The town of Lipari has about 11,000 inhabitants. Vulcano is famous for its fango (mud) baths.” Click here…

Photo taken at Valle Muria 1/1 2009 while taking a swim with my tough Olympus.


Aeolian Islands isolated

The Italian Tirrenia who owns the Shipping company SIREMAR has serious economic problems and plans to close SIREMAR and all business related to it. SIREMAR takes care of the ship connection between the Aeolian Islands, Sicily and Naples. SIREMAR is in fact the only company that provides a connection between Naples and the Islands, which means among others transport of merchandise and during summer time, tourist related transports. With SIREMAR leaving the only ship connection will be with Milazzo with another company called NGI. This will make it necessary for the merchandise to travel from the north all the way south to Milazzo to get to the Islands. For all islands and especially distant islands like Stromboli, this will imply a big cost raises. It is already difficult to reach the islands, because of lack of cooperation between the shipping companies, because of bad timetable planning and during spring, autumn and winter season, bad weather conditions. The islands also suffer because of high living costs and a tourism that is either missing or looking for other destinations. Without good ship connections, the islands will be isolated and get into a severe crisis.

This is the reason why all shops were closed yeasterday in a general strike and a SIREMAR ship, the Laurana is occupied by the Aeolian citizens since it arrived yesterday morning. Yesterday and today the municipality of Lipari is having their meetings on the ship, car deck. Look at the photos. Yesterday evening 46 million euro were promised by the government in Rome but this will probably not be enough for 2009, at least not if the islands wants to keep a good ship like Laurana.

I found this text on the Laurana ship entry. I think it is a good way to describe the Aeolian Island citizens feeling about this crisis.


no, ci dispiace, ma alle Eolie non nevica,
non facciamo notizie.
che importa se in 1500 abbiamo occupato
la nave della Siremar Laurana, che collega(va)
Lipari a Napoli?
che importa se la teniamo occupata da 24
e non ci muoviamo?
che importa se, finalmente uniti,
combattiamo per difendere i nostri DIRITTI
ELEMENTARI di cittadini italiani?
che importa se il governo ci ha risposto con
le ennesime promesse vaghe??
che importa se i nostri signori turisti e
visitatori e frequentatori d’ora in poi avranno
“un mare” di problemi per raggiungerci???
che importa se quest’estate, causa anche
crisi dei trasporti verranno a mancare circa
300 posti di lavoro (stima “a braccio”)??
che importa??
il vero problema é che qui non nevica, non
facciamo notizia e nessuno parla di noi..
non ci resta che sperare che qualcuno ci



no, sorry, but at the Aeolians islands it doesn’t snow,
we do not make news.
what matters if 1500 of us occupied
the Siremar ship Laurana, that connect(take us)
from Lipari to Neaple?
what matters if we occupy the ship since 24 hours
and we won’t leave it?
what matters if we, finally together,
fight to defend our BASIC
RIGHTS as Italian citizens?
what matters if the government answers with
usual and vague promises??
what matters if the tourists,
visitors and frequent visitors from now on will have
“a sea” of problems to visit us??
what matters if this summer, because of
the transport crisis, there will be about
300 people without work (approximate number)??
the real problem is that, it doesn’t snow here, we
do not make news and nobody talks about us…
we just have to hope that someone will
throw a bomb on us……

L’Isola del Diavolo

Cercando con la parola chiave “Lipari” in Google trovai un paio di anni fa, un link a una libreria second hand svedese che vendeva il libro, tradotto in svedese “La Fuga – Come i prigionieri pol*itici venivano trattati sulle terribili isole dei fascisti.”. Il libro é scritto dall’antifascista Francesco Fausto Nitti.

“Il 1 dicembre 1926 fu condannato a cinque anni di confino e destinato dapprima a Lampedusa poi a Lipari. Qui conobbe Carlo Rosselli ed Emilio Lussu, con i quali evase il 27 luglio 1929 su un natante condotto da Italo Oxilia. Condotto insieme ai compagni di fuga prima in Tunisia e poi in Francia, a Parigi scrisse una cronaca della fuga pubblicata nel 1929 in inglese col titolo di Escape, in edizione italiana solo nel 1946 (Le nostre prigioni e la nostra evasione, Prefazione di Francesco Saverio Nitti, Napoli, ESI, 1946), che ebbe un discreto successo editoriale e fu tradotta in diverse lingue.” (Wikipedia)


Le mie impressioni come
prigioniero politico e la nostra fuga da Lipari,
“l’Isola del Diavolo” dei fascisti

Con introduzione del ex Ministro degli Interni, Francesco Nitti

Faccio qui una libera traduzione. Non ho l’originale italiano.

Kapitolo X. “Lipari, che porta il nome dell’isola del vento, appariva sul mare blu davanti ai nostri occhi tristi la mattina del 15 marzo del 1927.  Abbiamo impiegato otto giorni per arrivare al nostro confino, otto giorni in catene, in vagoni per prigionieri e buie celle, su navi a vapore, notti insonne nelle sporche prigioni dei paesi piene di insetti. A Girgenti in Sicilia ci separarono da Massarenti per essere trasportato a Ustica, un’altra isola di confino…   Lipari é chiamata l’isola dei venti perchè la gente una volta pensava che l’isola era la casa di Eolo, il dio dei venti. L’isola porta bene il suo nome. Forti venti dominano giorno e notte queste isole vulcaniche , l’inverno, l’autunno e gran parte della primavera. Le vecchie ruine di Lipari sono scosse da intemperie e durante le notti sente il vento terribile nelle viuzze. Certi giorni soffia talmente forte che i cittadini non hanno il corraggio di uscire. L’aria é sempre piena di sabbia che ti accieca e impedisce ogni movimento. Ma Lipari mi apparve come un piccolo paradiso i primi giorni. Per chi aveva visto la terra desolata e bruciata dal sole di Lampedusa, Lipari impressionava col suo ricco verde e la città era accogliente con i suoi negozi, i suoi caffé e la luce elettrica. Al nostro arrivo sono stato colpito dal verde delle colline che circondavano il paese. Ma questa prima impressione fu oppresso man mano che comprendevamo la realtà di vita di confino in cui eravamo finiti.”

L’isola di Lipari con di fronte il molo e Monte Rosa nello sfondo

La prima vista di terra ferma a babordo.

Finalmente liberi! I I tre fuggiaschi, l’autore (Francesco Fausto Nitti) a sinistra,
e i compagni anonimi che li hanno aiutati nella fuga.

Burraco a sassate

Tempo fa, precisamente il 12 luglio feci questa foto sulla spiaggia di levante dell’isola di Vulcano. Ci eravamo “presi a sassate” in burraco. Una partita molto alla pari ma che poi perdemmo io e mio figlio contro la nostra amica di Vulcano. Notate le tipiche pietre eoliane, di pomice e altra lava.

Una cisterna eoliana

Oggi ho avuto un impulso. Mi sono fatto un muro a secco stamattina e oggi pomeriggio sono sceso nella cisterna per finire il lavoro, sigillando alcuni spacchi fini che avevano lasciato passare sottili radici. Le due foto mostrano la cisterna dall’entrata e dal fondo.

La cisterna fu scavata forse cento anni fa (la casa almeno ha questa etá) sotto il terrazzo ed é a forma di campana, profonda circa quattro metri e mezzo con un diametro di fondo di circa tre metri. Prima aveva un sottile collo di circa un metro ma nessuno, anche se pagato bene, accettava di scendere nella mia cisterna. Io ero troppo largo per entrare tramite quel collo e poi anche se ci fossi riuscito, il rischio di rimanere bloccato nel collo era troppo grande. Per questo ho aperto la cisterna più sotto per cui si accede adesso alla cisterna da fuori il terrazzo.

Nella foto di sinistra si può notare la forma di due seni nel muro. Mi sono chiesto del significato di questi seni. Ho pensato che forse questi seni sono una tradizione eoliana ma un’amico che é sceso in decine di cisterne a Lipari non ha mai visto una cosa simile. Un’altro amico dice che forse sono semplicemente dei sassi che non hanno voluto togliere e che poi i muratori hanno decorato.

Quattro anni fa scesi per la prima volta nella cisterna per ripulirla da un decimetro minimo di fango e per otturare gli spacchi che c’erano. Era impressionante scendere la prima volta. È ovvio che per sicurezza caliamo sempre una candela giù nella cisterna prima di scendere e che siamo sempre minimo in due, uno fuori e uno dentro. Oggi toccò a mio figlio di fare la guardia sopra.

Pumice Mine Confiscated on Lipari

The Pumice Mine belonging to the Pumex Society on Lipari has been confiscated Friday September 1st by the authorities with the accusation of illegal pumice mining. This seems to be the end of a long enduring story and political struggle between ambientalists who want to stop the mining following the Unesco instructions and thoose wanting to save the work of the Aeolian miners.

The Mining Area in July 2007