On the north coast of Sicily there is a large mountainous underwater base which covers an area of ​​115 sq km.  The archipelago of the Aeolian Islands emerged from the sea in a remote age, as a result of land settling. These islands are laid out along three huge volcanic fractures which intersect in the marine depths between Lipari, Salina and Panarea.
The Aeolian Islands are 7 and all of volcanic origin: Lipari (37.3 sq km), Salina (26.4 sq km), Volcano (20.9 sq km), Stromboli (12.2 sq km), Filicudi (9.5 sq km), Alicudi (5.1 sq km) and Panarea (3.3 sq km) to E-NE of the latter stand the islets of Basiluzzo (0.29 sq km), Lisca Bianca (0.041 sq km ), Dattilo (0.028 sq km) and Bottaro (0.007 sq km). Lipari, Salina and Vulcano are the most central and the closest one to the other, while Panarea and Stromboli (NE) and Filicudi and Alicudi (W) are more isolated and distant. The  northernmost and eastern Stromboli, is 55 Km from Capo Vaticano (Calabria), the southernmost Vulcano  is 20 Km from Capo Calavà (Sicily). The Aeolian Islands host nine sites of Community Importance as well as some protected areas. Since 2000,  the Aeolian Islands have been declared a “UNESCO World Heritage Site”.

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