Stromboli

  
  - darkometer rating:  2 -
 
A volcano-island off Italy, to the north of Sicily, part of the Aeolian Islands (which also include the "original" Vulcano, after which all other volcanoes are named).
 
Stromboli stands out in the world of volcanoes in that it's been active continuously for 2000 years and in that its activity can famously be viewed by tourists (much of the time), i.e. without it requiring an expedition.
 
The best way is to get up close to the volcano right at the crater rim – when it is possible. In 2007 Stromboli's activity became too unpredictable and access to the crater had to be temporarily suspended. So check ahead when you want to go to see if it's open. If it is, it's still not an easy stroll, but quite a steep hike. Having a guide is recommended too, for safety reasons alone. Also take a torch when going at dusk/night, which is obviously enough the best time for volcano-viewing.
 
Alternatively, you can take a boat trip. There are various options on offer, mainly in the summer only. These can also run when access to the crater on land is closed. Also it's safer, of course, in case the volcanic activity suddenly increases.
 
What makes Stromboli a dark site beyond the mere spectacle of observing nature's bowels' red-hot activity is the fact that the north-western side of the mountain, the famous "Sciara del Fuoco" or "Stream of Fire" partly collapsed into the sea causing a tsunami (with a 10 metre (33 foot) flood wave, at the end of 2002). There's always the risk that it may collapse even more …
 
Perhaps surprisingly there's a settlement on the island itself. These days it simply goes by the same name as the island/volcano. And in this village there are several options for accommodation. Boats provide connections to the other, more inhabited islands of the Aeolian archipelago, especially Lipari.   
 
Location: to the north of Sciliy, ca. 45 miles (75 km from the city of Messina, in southern Italy. Stromboli is the easternmost of the Aeolian islands. The largest of the group, Lipari, is ca. 28 miles (45 km) to the south-west.
 
Google maps locator: [38.79,15.21]
 
  

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