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The island of Panarea is the smallest of the Aeolian Islands with an area of just 3.4 square kilometres. The Greeks called it Euōnymos, or ‘the one on the left’, meaning to the left of those sailing from Lipari to Sicily. In the Byzantine period, however, it became Panaraia, i.e., completely uneven, due to the characteristics of its terrain. In the north-eastern part, Panarea is surrounded by a series of large and small rocky outcrops and small islands that contribute to the enchanting view. Looking to the horizon, you can see the islands of Formiche, Lisca Nera, Bottaro, Lisca Bianca, Dattilo, Panarelli and Basiluzzo. At one time, they were all part of a large, single cratered area, which then collapsed into the sea due to recurring earthquakes. The volcanic origin of the island can still be seen today in the so-called ‘fumaroles’, that is, the discharge of gas and steam from underground. They can be seen at Calcara Beach and between the islands of Bottaro and Lisca Bianca. Near the Punta di Peppe e Maria, there is also a thermal spring. Like all of Sicily’s islands, Panarea was plagued by frequent pirate raids. Drauto, one of the main settlements, still bears witness to this today. The name comes from the pirate Dragut, who used to moor his ships in this inlet. The first human settlements on the island of Panarea date back to the 14th century BC. On the promontory of Punta Milazzese, which marks the end of the splendid Cala Junco, it is possible to see the remains of a village of circular huts dating back to the Bronze Age. 


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