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History of Panarea

The history of Panarea, similarly to other isles, is strictly bound to Lipari’s events, being the major and the most populated island, whose influence has signed the history of the archipelago. The first findings date back to the period of the Diana style, attested by the findings of the Timpone del Corvo. In Calcara locality there were discovered some of the finds connectable to Capo Graziano, who from XVIII-XVII to XV B.C. found his maximum expression in Filicudi, in the namesake area. Dating back to the Bronze Age is the settlement in Punta di Milazzese locality, composed of 23 huts of oval shape, and 1 of quadrangular one, surely place of cult or reunion, where pottery, pots, millstones, and Mycenaean tools were found. The site, not without reason, is situated upon a plateau, extending to the sea, protected by high walls which transform it into an ideal place for the defence from pirates and intruders. In VII B. C. Sicilian coasts were scattered by Etruscans’ ships, in search of richness and areas to colonize. Obviously the minor islands as the Aeolians did not escape raids; on the contrary, because of their strategic and at the same time, isolated position, they became a greedy prey for the intruders. A certain kind of stability is due to the Greeks who settled the archipelago substituting the Etruscans, permitting the islands to have one of the moments of major economic and demographic splendour. The suffered stability brought by the Greeks was compromised when the conflict between Carthage and Rome began. The islands of Lipari, allied with the Carthaginians underwent numerous attacks until they definitely passed in 252 B.C. under the Roman domination. A unique evidence are the remains on the Basiluzzo island, constituted of mosaic floors and colourful plasters, the remains of the villa probably built by a Roman owner, fallen in love with the harsh nature, peace and amazing landscapes. The Roman domination, as the other two that followed it, the Byzantine and the Arabian one, brought to a slow but inexorable decadence, risking the total abandon. The Aeolian Islands, such as Panarea acquired the yearned tranquillity under the Norman Domination (1340-1544), which assuring peace, permitted the economic and demographic revival of the archipelago. At the beginning of the XVI century the Arabs and the Turkish brought death and destruction in the Mediterranean, and obviously Panarea was not spared. The evidence of such raids is to be found in the toponymy related to Contrada di Drautto, whose name derives from the pirate of the Arabic-Turkish ethnic Draugh, the successor of Barbarossa. At the end of the XVII century, after having nearly touched the abandon, the island was repopulated with an agricultural purpose by Lipari’s farmers, who initially moved only during the seeding and the harvesting period, but over time, they settled down reaching circa 1000 units. The most recent history is not made up of invasions or piracy, but of hunger, misery and dissatisfactions, which forced , at the end of the XIX century, the greatest part of the Aeolian inhabitants to mass emigration towards America and Australia, in search of better life. The tourism is a relatively recent phenomenon, partly due to the spread of cinema in 1960 throughout the archipelago, which permitted to promote the charming and the wild nature of the island. L’avventura ( The Adventure), the film of Michelangelo Antonioni, in major part set in Panarea, Basiluzzo and Lisca Bianca, helped to point the spotlights upon this magic island, and to attract numerous visitors.