I. A Group Of Volcanic Islands (anc. AEolice or Vulcanice insula) in the Tyrrhenian sea, between the W. coast of Naples and the N. coast of Sicily, from which they are distant from 12 to 40 m.; pop. about 22,000. The islands are 17 in number; the principal of them are Lipari, Vulcano, Stromboli, Salina, Pana-ria, Felicudi, and Alicudi, with many adjacent islets and rocks. They are all mountainous. The climate is salubrious and the air pure, and the principal products are fruits, wine, cotton, corn, peas, beans, etc. Storms and earthquakes are frequent. Lipari (anc. Lipara), the largest of the islands, is about 18 m. in circuit; pop. about 18,000. It supplies Europe with pumice stone, of which its surface is almost wholly composed. None of the islands except Lipari appear to have been anciently inhabited to any extent. At the commencement of the second Punic war a Carthaginian squadron was wrecked on the shores of Lipari and the island of Vulcano. Lipari was prosperous under the Romans, and was sometimes used as a place of exile for political offenders.
It was much frequented for its hot springs, one of which still remains in use.
Town of Lipari.
II. A Town, capital of the group, on the E. coast of Lipari island, with a harbor nearly 2 m. in circuit, 38 m. N. W. of Messina; pop. about 6,000. It has an active trade in the produce of the islands with Palermo, Messina, and Naples. It contains a castle, a bishop's palace, several churches, a hospital, and some remains of antiquity. The greater part of the present fortress was built by Charles V. about the middle of the 16th century, after the town had been plundered by Khair ed-Din (Barbarossa).