Steven Dutch, Professor Emeritus, Natural and Applied Sciences, University of Wisconsin - Green Bay

Above: relief and volcanoes of the Mediterranean. Historically active centers are solid red, Holocene centers are red with black centers.

Sicily, which is actually part of the African Plate, and Italy are both overriding the Tyrrhenian Sea floor, resulting in volcanism. In addition to the large cone of Etna, there are a number of small volcanic islands north of Sicily. Calabria is a little chunk of the Alps like Corsica and Sardinia that got wedged between the European and African Plates.

Detailed map of the Straits of Messina and region. Vulcano (from the god Vulcan) gives its name to volcanoes in general.

Straits of Messina: Mainland side
Straits of Messina: Sicilian side
The coast highway has some impressive engineering. Primo Levi's The Monkey's Wrench, a collection of technological short stories, includes a story where the protagonist finds a Mafia victim embedded in concrete in a bridge in this region of Italy.
Approaching stromboli. The persistent cloud cap is a small orographic cloud due to air moving up over the mountain, not an eruption.
Above: distant views of Panarea Below: approaching stromboli
Most of the books that mention stromboli as the friendly "Lighthouse of the Mediterranean" show only pictures of some glowing vent in the crater. They don't tell you that this is actually a pretty big mountain, a classic stratovolcano.

And it's not totally friendly. It has had eruptions that killed people, most recently 1919 and 1930. In 2002 and 2007 lava flows reached the sea.

Another surprise is that stromboli is inhabited.
On the north side is an obvious large landslide scar.

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Created 15 January 2007, Last Update 09 June 2020