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Salina (ME)

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Salina (Messina Province) is the second largest of the Aeolian Islands, both in area (26.8 sq km) and in population (844). It has the greatest area of cultivated land. Its highest point (Fossa delle Felci) is 962 m in altitude. Post-code 98050, tel. 090. Economy: agriculture (wine grapes, capers), fishing, tourism. there are three communes on the island: Santa Marina, Malfa and Leni.

The modern name of the island is derived from an ancient salt-pan (salina), but in bygone days it was known as Didyme (Greek for "twins"), because of the two characteristic volcanoes that in particular conditions of light can make Salina seem, from a distance, two seperate islands.

The mountains Fossa delle Felci and Rivi are in the east part, Monte dei Porri is to the west, and the Val di Chiesa depression is in the central area.

There are 6 volcanoes in various parts of the island: the most ancient ones are at Monte Rivi and Capo Faro, neither of which is immediately recognizable as a volcano, whereas the others, situated mainly near the Fossa delle Felci are clearly volcanic in shape.

The Cratere di Pollara (Pollara crater), one of the more recent formations (13,000 years ago), is in the west part of the island.

Traces of the Aeolian civilizations are present also on Salina.

The remains of a settlement, dating from the Greek Age and continuing until Roman Imperial times, have been brought to light near santa Marina Salina.

The island offers the visitors all its many beauties: a crystal-clear sea abounding in fish, hills capped with green, endless stretches of vineyeards and olive-groves.

Capers are among the numerous agricultural products. These are exported, as also the celebrated aromatic malvasia (malmsey wine), a unique speciality.

The roads are of good quality and communications between the various parts of the island present no difficulty; the coastal and the inland area are easy to reach.

When we land on the island, we can spend some time at Santa Marina Salina, halfway along the east coast of the islands, at the foot of Monte Fossa delle Felci (area 8.7 sq km, pop. 830). Inhabited since perhistoric times, it was possible the site of a Greek settlement, in the 6th-5th century BC, in the Serra dell'Acqua area. In the 4th century BC there was a village here, where Santa Marina Salina is today, which flourished until the late Imperial Age. In later centuries it followed the fortunes of the other villages in the Aeolian Islands.

In the Town Hall we can see a collection of Hellenistic Age inscriptions and tomb epigraphs.

Malfa, an agricultural village, is located on the north coast between the Monti dei Porri and the Fossa delle Felci. Another agricultural village on the island is Leni, on the south coast opposite Malfa; the rural-style architecture of the church is worth noting here. Beyong the little harbor of Rinella, we can visit Pollara, where the panorama is particularly beautiful. Further south, in the east corner of the island, is the Lingua headland, with its pretty little lake of brackish water and a pebble beach.

Throughout the island the rich Mediterranean maquis makes a splendid frame for the numerous picturesque views towards the other islands in the archipelago.

Families researched in these records include the following:


Links to other sites about Salina include:

Italian Wikipedia
Italian Towns
Italian Postal Codes
Sicily Web
Sicilian Net

My latest book on CD is titled Sicily - A Reference for Researchers and is now available. With a file for each town (plus many other files), it relates the history of Sicily as reflected in the photos, records and festivals of its towns. It contains over 2500 text and photo files and can be ordered at CD order.

Order Italy Kathy Kirkpatrick

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© Kathy Kirkpatrick 1997-2008