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Italian paradise: 6 Aeolian Islands to visit

Italian paradise: 6 Aeolian Islands to visit

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The Aeolians offer more than the extremes of high society and natural solitude. Inhabited for more than 5,000 years, each island still bears traces of its former residents. On Lipari, the largest island in the chain, 25 rooms of relics from its chain of occupying civilisations – Greek, Italics, Saracens, Visigoths, Byzantines and Normans – can be seen at the Archaeological Museum in Lipari town, split in two by a fortified acropolis. The castle here was once used as a penal colony by the Bourbons and housed exiled anti-Fascists in the 1930s. Lunch at the acclaimed Filippino restaurant, one of the best restaurants in the world to visit by superyacht, is a must. It has been in the Bernardi family's hands for more than a century; gorge on smoked swordfish stuffed with figs and lemon rind, or grouper ravioli with capers and red peppercorns.

If you have any energy after your digestivo, there are villages and beaches to explore. Centuries of pumice stone quarrying here have left fine white dust deposits on the seabed; the transparency at Spiaggia Bianca rivals Bahamian waters.

Picture courtesy of Shutterstock.com

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