Stromboli and Strombolicchio are part of the the Aeolian Islands. The group includes Lipari, an exporter of pumice and the islands’ main town of the same name; Salina, where Malvasia di Lipari dessert wines and raisins are produced; and Vulcano, the site in former times of the worship of the mythical fire god. Stromboli itself is a high volcano that emits hot sulphurous vapours. Rising 926 metres out of the sea, Stromboli is about 3 miles (2 km) in diameter and, in fact, a perfect cone in shape from the floor of the Tyrrhenian Sea some 2,000 metres below. The island’s area of 4.9 sq miles (12.6 sq km) represents only the upper third of the volcano. In 2016, its population was about 500 and, while its beauty has been the backdrop to many famous movies, Stromboli remains one of the most active volcanoes on Earth. It has been in nearly continuous eruption for 2000 years. Most eruptions at Stromboli consist of small gas explosions that hurl incandescent blobs of lava above the crater rim with several explosions occurring each hour. Strombolicchio, which lies 1.25nm (2 km) north-east is the volcanic plug remnant of the original volcano. Violent eruptions are rare on Stromboli; the last serious one was in 1921. However, as recently as July 2019, two major explosive events occurred alongside 20 additional minor explosive events. A hiker near the volcano’s summit died after being struck by flying debris when the eruption began and 6 others suffered minor injuries. A month later in August, an explosive eruption sent a pyroclastic flow down the volcano’s northern flank and into the sea. The resulting ash column reached a height of 2,000 m (6,600 ft), and led to a maritime exclusion zone being created. Other than the chances of ash raining down from the sky the crews sailing the Rolex Middle Sea Race do not need to worry about anything except to have their cameras ready for this impressive smoking island that rises dramatically from the sea. Fishing is an important occupation within the island population and there is a growing tourist industry. Noted as the mythical residence of Aeolus, the wind god after whom the island group is named, the Aeolians were colonised by the Greeks in the 6th century BC. Under the Roman Empire and during the 20th century Fascist regime in Italy the island group served as a place of exile for political prisoners.
Approximate distance from the start (to Strombolicchio): 188nm
Approximate distance from the start (to Strombolicchio): 418nm