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The history of Stromboli

Stromboli has been well known since ancient times for its volcano was much to be called the “Lighthouse of the Tyrrhenian” In fact, just follow the route from Naples towards the Aeolian darkness where sudden flashesof light illuminate it at intervals announcing it’s position.The Arabs had named the island Strongyle, while the Greeks Stròmbos,spinning top, because of its volcanic cone that resembles a spinning top. Quoted in mythology as the abode of the god Aeolus, it seems that at Stromboli Odysseus met the god who gave him a leather bag containing the head wind that would be easily lead him back to Ithaca. A colony of Lipari, the island was inhabited for centuries, only during the sowing of seeds and harvest. The first town established in the island dates back to the sixteenth century. A.D. in the area of the church of San Vincenzo. It’s economy for centuries was based on agriculture, fishing and seafaring. Agriculture was based on typical Mediterranean products like olive trees, vines and figs, grown in carefully terraced land that over the centuries have forged the appearance of the island. Due to the lack of game and pasture land they based their economy on fishing, essential to the survival of local populations, due to the presence of a diverse fish species such as sardines, grouper, bream and squid.  Putting together the products from both land and sea   birth to a cuisine unique in the world was given, being an isalnd however it was difficult to difuse but over the centuries this changed and  today gives us cuisine of the highest quality, rich in spices with contrasting flavors. The navy also enjoyed it’s moments of glory on the island, in the eighteenth century. It had a fleet of 65 sailing ships, linking Naples to Sicily, this was the most flourishing period of the island where the population reached 4000 inhabitants. The next century was a period of great depression after the invention of the steamboat and the construction of the railway Naples-Reggio Calabria  the navy was permanently marked with the loss of a substantial source of income for local people. In 1930, Stromboli risked abandonment because of repeated heavy eruptions, an earthquake that caused a tsunami with waves of 30 meters and the attack of a croorganism that compromised the crops, led to a mass migration of farmers to America and Australia. The island gained notoriety after the war in 1949 when Roberto Rossellini filmed “Stromboli Land of God” which pointed the spotlight and attracted considerable fanfare due to the relationship between the director and Ingrid Bergman, the female lead in the film. There is a plaque commemorating the house where the two resided in Via Vittorio Emanuele. After this the island not only incresed in tourism but was repopulated by Campani and Sicilians who settled there fascinated by the uncontaminated and baron nature that surrounds it.

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