Stromboli Island, Italy. The Route Ferries and hydrofoils arrive here from Sicily (via Lipari) and Naples.
Located in the Tyrrhenian Sea just north of Sicily, Stromboli is arguably the most captivating of the Aeolian Islands, with an active volcanic cone that looms cinematically above two small settlements of whitewashed houses.
From July 21 to 30, the fourth edition of contemporary art festival Volcano Extravaganza will treat the island to an eclectic lineup of film screenings, exhibitions, music, and performance art, all curated by British installation artist Haroon Mirza.
Hiking up Stromboli for a close look at its smoldering, lava-spraying craters is one of the islandâ€™s major draws. Itâ€™s a steep, demanding climb (getting to the top takes about three hours), but youâ€™re pretty much guaranteed a spectacular fireworks show, especially after dark. Magmatrek (magmatrek.it) runs afternoon and evening treks led by seasoned guides.
Where to StayÂ
A former seamenâ€™s hostel turned six-room inn, La Locanda del BarbablĂą (39-090/986-118; doubles from US$150) in Stromboli village has it all: a charming host (Andrea Fabbricini, who doubles as the bartender); fabulously eccentric decor; an excellent restaurant; and a broad terrace with views over the sea and up the volcano. â€“David Tse