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Vulcano is the closest of all the Aeolian Islands to the Sicilian coast, just 12 miles from Milazzo. The island’s volcano is one of only two that are still active in the area, along with Stromboli. The island features several post-volcanic phenomena. The most obvious is that of the “fumaroles”, high-temperature emissions of water vapour, sulphur and carbon dioxide that emanate from the crater or from cracks in the ground. The first impression you get of the island is marked by the strong smell of sulphur, which you soon get used to. The main inhabited centres on the island are Vulcano Piano, Gelso and Vulcano Porto. At the beginning of the estuary, which connects Vulcano Porto to Vulcanello, you can immerse yourself in a natural thermal pool, and then wash off the mud in the nearby sea. Here, the waters bubble due to the underlying volcanic gas vents. Over the centuries, the island has taken on different names: Therasia (Terra Calda), Hiera (Sacra) and Vulcania because, according to the Greeks and Romans, this was the home of the fire god Vulcan. After having been owned by the Church for several centuries, the mining exploitation of the island, especially sulphur, began under the rule of the Bourbons, becoming a real industry. In the second half of the 19th century, with the fall of the Bourbons, the island was bought by the Englishman, James Stevenson, a relative of the famous writer, Robert Louis Stevenson. The British entrepreneur consolidated the sulphur mining industry, planted the first vineyards on the island and even had a villa built that is still called the “Englishman’s Castle”. In 1888, Stevenson left the island for good when the volcano erupted for the last time.  


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