The Aeolian Islands are a collection of eight islands off the northeastern coast of Sicily. The archipelago takes its name from the Greek god of wind, Aeolus, and the islands themselves are the result of volcanic activity hundreds of thousands of years ago.
The largest of the Aeolian Islands - collectively, a UNESCO World Heritage Site - is Lipari, which is also the name of the main town on the island. There’s a year-round population on Lipari of more than 10,000. The next-largest is Salina, with three distinct towns, followed by Vulcano, with a population of less than 500 people. Many of the islands have active volcanoes on them, or, in some cases, are made up almost entirely of a volcano. Stromboli, for instance, is a conical island that consists almost completely of Mt. Stromboli, a still-active volcano.
The Aeolian Islands are incredibly popular during the summer months, when their beaches draw sun worshippers from Italy and elsewhere in Europe.