Tuesday, May 23, 2017

To many Americans, Europe is all about romance.  I know that after many years of travel in Europe, Africa and the Middle East, my dreaming images of Europe have a lot in common with a Wagner opera scene.  I think of towering pinnacles of rock, wreathed in mist, with half ruined castles perched on top.  Below, the Rhine flows by flaked with silver sparkles.   Square sailed wooden boats sail past laden with knights and ladies heading to exotic destinations or just up to Cologne with its lacy stone cathedral looming over the river.
There is romance in Stonehenge and the ghosts of prehistoric rituals.  The Hunchback of Notre Dame defines our images of Medieval Paris.  Of course nothing can compete with the ghosts that seem to crowd the Colosseum and the Appian Way with about the longest recorded history in Europe.
Somehow, I do not think that our relatives think in those terms about the Aeolian/Eolian islands.  We think of farmers cultivating and pruning the grapes.  The merchants' wives baking hard tack for trading voyages in the outdoor ovens of plain white cube houses.  Below the houses are storage places where it was cool enough for my great-great aunts to weave linen in the shadows.  The islands are lovely....beautiful blue vistas, and Salina, at least is a sea of green and yellow, but do they have the romantic appeal that other Italians may see in their homelands. 
In fact, the islands along with Sicily, have some of the longest and most romantic and troubled histories of any part of Europe.  Lipari has its castle on the promontory above the beach, a setting for its towered cathedral smack in the middle.  There is a vast cemetery dating back to Greek times that has yielded up many sarcophagi and grave goods on a par with any site in the central Mediterranean.  The castle and town suffered a great and brutal Pirate attack that virtually wiped out the town and enslaved the populace. 
Obsidian has been mined and traded all through the prehistoric world. Pottery also dates to these times, found all around the islands in many classic forms and decorations.
The islands, like Sicily have been the crossroads of a dozen invading and trading cultures...Jews, Greeks, Medieval Germans. Romans, Arabs, Spaniards, and French.  All of these cultures have left their marks on our bloodlines, our rural arts, our diets and our personalities. 
Romance just percolates through the islands and our history.  and I sometimes find myself dreaming of farmers and tradesmen trooping into the castle and battling off the pirates and also the gently arts of husbandry practiced generation after generation in their sundrenched villages.
They certainly lived with deprivation in their isolated and comparatively poor islands, not to mentioned the cloud wreathed volcanoes spewing out occasional destruction.  The people who left the islands sometimes thought of their home as a sort of "armpit" of the earth, but they left in a time when they knew that there was more available elsewhere and longed for an easier life, but their parents and grandparents also knew the islands and a source of great natural generosity and fertility.  Salina particularly was a gift to her people, green, fertile, blessed with both beauty and plenty, but when the virus hit the vines and wiped out the prosperity they had come to enjoy, the island became a prison for many.
Still, now that people have prospered and convenient transportation has made it easier to live in the beautiful islands, people have started coming for the wine, the scuba, the romantic volcanoes and the wonderful weather(most months). 

Friday, May 5, 2017

Why the New Blog?

I have had a few complaints about this but I am sure that all the mountains of information I have been uploading into the Cafarella-Cincotta site make it a little difficult to navigate and to understand the purpose of the site.
Originally I wanted the site:  http://cincotta-cafarella.blogspot.com to do nothing but show off photographs of family members. Secondly, I wanted the site: http://cafarella-cincotta.blogspot.com to be all about family stories. 
Recently, however, I have been purchasing many maps, photos, antique prints, and have been uploading island information along with them.  This is a bit of a departure from the original intent, so I thought I might as well return that site to its original format and move all the more general island and population stories and images here.  So This will be my task for a while, first purging the old site of these intrusions and moving them here.

This is just the core map of the family tree that I have been working on for a number of years now.  John Cafarella, Son of Joseph Gaetano Cafarella(The Marine) did the original Power Point central portion, but now this family tree is about three feet by three feet, and does not include my father's side at all.  Eventually, I will transfer all this to a new tree that will make more sense and look a bit less like a spaghetti bowl, though many of us really like spaghetti!!!

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

A series of beautiful photos of the island

Go to the following link for some beautiful photos of the island of Salina from all sides. It really gives you a good idea of the topography. Under view more photos at the lower right, the final photo will show you a great direct view of Malfa and Capo Faro at the left. This is especially good for memebers of my central family as that is the area where most of the immediate family is from.


You may have to type the entire address into the address bar at the top of your page, copy and paste into any of the search bars yeilds poor results at best.

You might try the search at the top of the page for pictures of the other islands. These are for sale as downloads or prints if you want a copy. I have no affiliation to this site, I just think it is beautiful.

Deep Time

Geologists to some extent but more so Physicists and Astronomers have a concept called DEEP TIME.  They are thinking not in terms of thousands of years, that are fairly easy for us to grasp, or in terms of even millions of years.  They think about billions of years, even 13 billion or more.
I can say that I understand the period of time they are talking about, but when it comes right down to it; I think that it is an impossible idea to grasp for any of us. 
The Big Bang, the formation of the sun and all of its planets, all of these concepts are why we have a god in our minds.  They are concepts beyond our understanding.  Don't believe anyone who says they do understand it.
We, as amateur Genealogists, have our own concept of Deep Time.
Some of us, young people, cannot even imagine a time without computers, without planes, or cars.  The idea of a world war in our past is only an abstract concept that some of us just take on faith, because we cannot even understand the period of time that has passed since then.
I do not know about you, but I can easily imagine Grammie's father putting out to sea in a far too small boat with a triangular sail.... and ending up in Portugal.  Of course I know he mostly did short hops around the Thyrennian, but that does not stop my imagining :Portugal.
He wears a knit stocking cap, not unlike what we sometimes wear today in the winter. 
He is eating the hard tack and dried salted fish that his wife packed in barrels for him.  Table wines and water are stored in demijohns for him to drink, and of course there are raisins. 
If he tires of the dried food he can always fish for fresh over the side. 
There are lemons in big baskets to keep scurvy away and figs to keep his bowels in order.  There is also a jar of olives, that he put up in salt brine from the salt pans of Salina, along with her, to munch on along with the fresh bread and Feta like cheese that will last a few days on his trip before he will be restricted to the preserved foods.
Beyond that, I can envision my ancestors with long hose and Codpieces below short coats cinched tight at the waist.  I see them too in long heavy robes of silk and velvet in some branches, and others in homespun wool, all keeping warm in the little ice age when even in Sicily it was chilly enough to wear such things in part of the summer.
I can see our ancestors and some that were almost our ancestors dreading the coming of the plagues that would kill almost half of them in the 13 and 14 hundreds.  Of course, I can just see ancestors with our present day body types in shoes with long pointed toes.  The toes were so long that they had to tie the pointed ends to their knees to keep from tripping over them.
I can see the Cafarellas coming to Italy by sea from Constantinople when peace in the empire meant that there was little work for military men.  In Italy the turmoil of all the little city states and the constant territory envy of the French and Germans, and the Pope defending against them, kept them busy along with Crusading.
Here, my imagination gives out on the Italian side.  Not because I do not believe that they were this or that...rich or poor, master or servant, lord or serf;  I just don't see them farther back.
The British side I see in their manor houses in Shropshire, battling the Welsh along the border.  I see them knowing the king personally, and paying homage to their overlords who in turn payed homage to the king.
I see the Corbet branch of the family coming over with William the Conqueror from Normandy, a part of Normandy in the country not far from Paris.
I see them too, with axes in their hands sailing up the Seine and other rivers from their homeland in Denmark, with a large, black  raven on helmet and shield. 
There, the images fade. 
I cannot even imagine how or where they lived in Denmark, and for some reason I cannot envision the same events that happened in other branches of the English and Norman family that became the Mitchells and Jones' from New Brunswick.
But what about Deep Time for us ordinary folk. 
I have been rereading an old favorite of mine called "Sarum"  by Edward Rutherfurd.
It may be hard to lay your hands on outside the thrift shops and the library, but it it well worth the read and the effort to find.  It is giving me(especially now that I have a better handle on my English side) a feeling of connection to the past that I never had before.
I take that back.
There was one night...in the 1980s I think, when Halley's comet was due.  I saw it and was very pleased to have done so, but I was outside in Wiscasset, in the middle of the street, looking at another comet that was passing near that time.  I do not remember its name.
I looked up at it over my neighbor's roof.  I stood there a little too long with my face pointing up.  Perhaps I was a bit dizzy as a result, but I suddenly felt like I was on a moving sphere.  I felt the Earth moving below my feet, and the moving in sync with the comet, and the moon and everything else.  The feeling of connection of being a part of it all flooded over me and I stood there in the middle of the street in tears   Perhaps this is what it was like a couple of thousand years ago to have a religious revelation.  But just that one night...I felt like I was part of something greater and deeper in time that I can rationally imagine.  It sounds a little crazy, but there it is. 
I have never felt that way again.
I go to my sister's house in the woods in Maine.  We look up at the stars so thick that you can almost see the star maps by them.  I hope it will happen again...But it doesn't.
I imagine people the first time they see their child's face would feel a bit like that.  I feel a deeper connection to all of you...family, and almost family, because I understand a little of OUR FAMILIES' DEEP TIME.

So what is deep time in human terms?  I can easily speculate on the origins of my British Isles family in deep time.  On one side they were stone and bronze age hunters on the tundras of northern Britain, much like in the book Sarum.  they had originated in central Europe and in turn the middle east as discussed later. But, when the Romans arrived, they were driven into the mountains of Wales and into Ireland by a people who had little respect for religions other than their own and for any peoples who resisted their will.
The Normans who later replaced the Germanic invaders(Angles Saxons and Jutes), their own cousins in fact, came from France, then in turn from Denmark and prior to that the Steppes of Russia or the "STAN" republics of the former Soviet Union.  They had, prior to that, migrated from the northern reaches of the Indian Subcontinent and the Middle East(many thousands of years before the Bible, though probably not before some of the stories from the Bible), and before that the North Eastern quarter of Africa.
The Italian side was probably all over the map.  They were of course also from the "STANS" and the Middle East, but they were living at the Conquest Crossroads of the world.  Every Barbarian newly arrived from the Steppes or Hungary, Every Arab, every renegade religious sect, the Greeks and Romans, the pirates from Greece and North Africa and every Medieval nation of the Old World tried to gain a foothold in Italy and in Sicily particularly.
We cannot truly trace our families to any one group with certainty.  We can speculate that we are related to the Romans.  It would seem to make sense, but how many tribes and nations traipsed across Italy in the last 1500 years to replace existing populations with their own kind, and their own seed.
Some of these groups married local boys and girls, but many replaced the local population...So who are we really?

The only real answer to our Italian Deep Time questions will be DNA testing.  This is something I hope to do with my family someday...when I can afford it.  This is the only hope of us understanding who we are.

  Ultimately, we are all Africans, most recently, probably from the northeast of the continent(Perhaps Ethiopia or Somalia, certainly not far from the Great Rift Valley, but ultimately from central or southern regions of the continent.  This is our collective EDEN...More of a jungle or Savanna than a garden really, and there were no apples there, allegorical or otherwise.

Savoy Kings of Italy

Victor Emmanuel II became king upon the unification of Italy, largely accomplished by Garibaldi. He became king on March 17, 1861.  Prior to that he was the Duke of Savoy, then King of Sardinia.  He was a son of Maria Theresa of Austria.  He married his cousin, Adelheid Habsburg of Austria(a cousin, below)  He died on January 9, 1878.
Maria Adelaide.jpg
Umberto I (one of eight children) became king upon the death of his father on January 9, 1878 and died on July 29th 1900 as the result of a second assassination attempt by Anarchists who were angry with his Ultra-Conservative policies and his support of a massacre of rioters in Milan.  The riots were in response to famine and rising bread prices in the country.  His Queen Consort was Margherita of Savoy.(below)(Margherita Pizza)
Queen Margharitha di Savoia.jpg
Victor Emmanuel II became king on July 29th 1900 and died on December 28th 1947.  He abdicated in favor of his son on May 9th 1946 after his embarrassing association with the Fascists during Mussolini's rule of the country.  Married to Elena of Montenegro(below), their daughter Mafalda died in Buchenwald concentration camp after the king arrested Mussolini and they fled to Egypt to exile.  Elena is best remembered for her involvement in rescue efforts and nursing following the Great Earthquake in Messina in 1908.
File:Queen Elena of Italy.jpg

Umberto II became king upon the abdication of his father on May 9th 1946.  He was deposed on June 12th 1946.  As Italy became a republic all titles were no longer valid.  He died on March 18th 1983.  Umberto and his queen Maria Jose of Belgium held their title for 35 days before the referendum to abolish the monarchy removed them from power.  They were referred to as the May king and the May queen.   They separated and did not live together after this.  There were reports that Umberto was Homosexual.  He remained in exile in Portugal for the rest of his life.   A good portrait of Maria Jose(below) is not available from Wikipedia, but a search of her name will show you a number of them.  


Vittorio Emanuele, disputed Duke of Savoy and honorifically called Prince of Naples.
This portrait is in front of his father's portrait,  Though exiled and living in Geneva most of his life, he and his family were allowed to return to Italy after formally renouncing titles and renouncing possessions in Italy.  He has been a constant embarrassment, arrested for wrongful death, corruption etc., his son has distanced himself from him.  Born February 13th 1937.   Married to Maria Ridolfi-Doria.  Do a name search to see portraits of her.
  This is Emanuele Filiberto, prince of Venice and Piedmont.  He is frequently on television and is a financial wizard working in Switzerland.  His status is still being debated in the Italian courts against the claims of the Duke of Aosta.  This image is from a free site listed in a search from Wikipedia.  If it does not belong here, I urge the owner to contact me immediately.  This is simply an
 informational blog and I will happily remove the image.
He is married to Clotilde Courau(below), a French actress.
Clotilde Courau Cannes 2010.jpg

Thanks to Wikipedia for most of the images.  Wikipedia is a very worthwhile organization.  Anyone with good knowledge or research skills on a subject of interest to the public should consider joining Wikipedia and contributing information or editorial skills to it.  Also, consider financial gifts to Wikipedia to help continue its free status.

Italy, through much of its history was not a single nation.  Papal states, with territory larger or smaller in different periods, duchies, small republics, etc. characterized the peninsula for most of its history.  The fact that Italy is quite mountainous contributed to the isolation of one region from another.  There were constant squabbles between these tiny "countries" which left the entire area in nearly constant turmoil.  Outside countries also tried to grab off pieces of the peninsula, or the entire area.  France tried to take it over, Austria's Hapsburgs had territory or alliances that made them virtual rulers of large areas.  Grumbling over the power of the popes encouraged takeover attempts over and over again. 
Through many hundreds of years, the south was more stable with Naples and the southern regions forming a country, Sicily forming another, and the two together as the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, changing hands on occasion from French and Spanish etc.
It was not until the first half of the 19th century that a serious attempt to unify the peninsula began.  After the seeds of  a nation were cobbled together in the north,  Garibaldi started in Marsala, Sicily with his red shirt troops and virtually swept through the country from the south, as the proto-nation pushed south to meet him, putting together a united kingdom of Italy for Victor Emmanuel II of Savoy and Sardinia to rule in 1860.  The papal states fell, leaving only Rome of his domains still in the pope's hands.  The Nation of Italy was officially proclaimed.  Venice and the northeast were added in 1866, and by 1871 Rome finally fell and became the capital.   By treaty, Vatican city became the city state that it is today.   More territory in the north east was added after the first world war.  It is strange to think that the major part of the country was formed only 17 years before Grammie was born, and only really completed when she was in her thirties.  It was abolished by the time she was fifty....Three of the four kings.... two world wars a dozen republican governments, all within her lifetime

Link to the Rulers of Sicily


Island Names and Arrival Dates.

Thanks Armando D'Ambra for supplying this.

Family Names
These are the names of families that lived in Lipari . The information comes from the book: "Citta Di Lipari" by Pietro Campis -

1133 - Filippo di Lipari

1246 - Amico D'Aldineri, Raimondo di Baldo, Ruggiero di Federico, Giovanni Di Pietro, Pietro d'Orbea, Giovanni Monoche`.

1261 - Benedetto di Baldo, Giovanni Bruno, Giovanni de Ota, Ansaudo, Luca Pagano de Andriocta, Nicolo` de Fulcone, Giovanni de Coci.

c. 1300 - Martuccio or Bartuzzo or Mattuzzo? Comito

1318 - Roberto, Nicalao, Giovanni, all with the words "de Lipparo" after the name designating place of residence.

1398 - Mano Cocchiano, Amico deLuciano, Antonio di Salvo, Ambrogio Ysaac

The following lived in the territory of the diocese (Patti, Milazzo, Librizzi, Naso etc) but for various reasons are also found to have something to do with Lipari:

1095 - Willelmus Pontius

1117 - Gulielmus Franzes, Nicetas Gallus

1123 - Walcolinus

1131 and in 1148 - these names appear:

Changemis, Costas, Chipparos, Farandas, Leo Caruuni, Leo Lamaris, Leo tu(=di_Paschali, Maimunis Ihaccas, Nicolaos Arcudi, Petros Diuolas, Uonichis, Vasilis tu Fargali

1191 - Nicolaus Thesaurarius, Robertus Spanus, Johannes Cangemus

1195 Willelmus Caballarius

1196 - Ricius

1198 - Guiglelmus filius Jacolini de Milacio

1202 - domina Corbina

1249 - Petrus Spatarius, Amicus de Presi, Jaconus Leo , Nicolaus de Maymon, Theodorus Barensis

1252 - Johannes de Marturano, Leo Syracusanus

1254 - Aldericus Famularus civis Pactarum

1261 - Frederico de Bonofilio

1262 - Petrus de Silvestro, Perronus Mancusius, Nicolaus Bos

1263 - Rusticus de Bonicho

1265 - Jardinus de Castello

1276 - Johannes de Matina, Johannes Copsocrea, Riccardus Pichulus, Jacobus Amalfitanus

The names have undergone changes through the ages. How many can you identify?

15th to the first half of the 16th century, these are the names that have been found:

Barberi, Ballacera, Bonfiglio, Bonica, Bosi, Brazzano, Calerari, Camagna, Capizzano, Carnetta, Casella, Cirino, comito, Coppola, Cremonese, Damiani, D'Anza, DeFranco, De Paula, De Protho, De Rubino, Di Blasi, DiFalco, DoFogie, Falanga, Gallecchi, Gauteri, Gervasio, Graffeo, LaGaroza or Carrozza, Lo Campo, Lo Nobile, Majorca, Mansoli, Marazzita, Mercurella, Montelione, Muntanaro, Muni, Pampina, Papa, Perea, Puntulieri, Quagliarella, Recupitta, Russo or Rossi, Sacco, Salvati, Sarno, Schisano, Stilpa, Tabiano, Trovatino, Voij.

In the year 1544 and 1618 these names were found:

Aduino, Aloe, Amendola, Angiluni, Arcondia, Ardizuni, Artesi, Baldassaro, Basili, Bellacera, Bellingeri, (Beninato), Benincasa, Bertuli, Bonaccursu, Boaja, Bonfiglio, Bonica, Brazzano, Bruno, Buzzanca (Cafarella), Caivano, Caizza, Calderaro, Camagna, Campagna, Canali, Capicchiano, Cappadoro, Caputo, Carnivali, Carrozza, Caruso, Cassera`, Castellano, Catalano, Catarella, Cavaleri, Cazzetta, Cesario, Chille`, (Cincotta), Ciraulo, Cirino, Citrolo, Colonna, Comito, Conti, Coppula, Corso, Costa, Costanzo, Craparo, Criscillo, Cristo`, Crivelli, Culia, Cullosi, Currao, Curseri, Cusantino, (Cusulito), Cusumanu, D'Acquaro, D'Agusta, D'Amato, D'Ambra, D'Ambrosio, D'Andria, Danile or Danieli, D'Antonio, D'Arena, D'arrigo, (De Leo Delfino), Della Chiesa Delorenzo, DeRebus, DeRunis, Diana, Di Franco, DiGiuanni, DiLacqua, DiLosa, DiLuca, DiMatina, DiMora, DiMuni, DiMunti DiNaso, DiNavi, (DiNeri), DiPascali, Di Paula, DiSalvo, Di Stefano, DiVita, Durante, D'Urso, Falanga, Famularo, Faraci, Favolaro, Ferrante, Ferro, Ficarra, Fiorentino, Franza, Furnari, Galletta, Gallo, Gallotta, Galtieri, Gemmola, Gentile, Genuesi, Giaquinto, Giorgi, Giuliano, Graffeo, Granata, Grasso, Graziano, Greco, Guadagno, Guarino, Imbesi, Istraeli, Jueli, LaBella, La Cava, La Funcia, La Mantia, Lamari, Lambrosa, Lanza, La Torre, Lauricella, la Vittoria, (Lazzaro), Liardo, Liccardo, or Licciardo, Liotta, Liuzzi, Lo Bianco, Lo Campo, Lo Chirico, Lo Curcio, Lo Galbo, Lo Greco, Lo Jacono, Lo Judice, Lombardo, Lo Monaco, Longo, Lo Picculu, Lo Sacco, Lo Scavo, Macri`, Majetta, Majurana, Majuri or Maggiuri, Manfre`, Maniace, Mannarano, Manello, Mansole, Marazita, Marcetta, Marino, Martino, Marullo, Medici, (Megna), Mercurella, Merlino, Messina, Mirabile, Misceli or Miceli, Moleti, Monteleone, Morabito, Mule`, Muntanaro, Musciarella or Muscarella, Natoli, Orlando, Ortese, Pagano, (Paijno), Palamara or Calamara, (Palisi), Pampino, Pannitteri, Pap, Parisi, Pascalello, Pasqua, Pavone Pellegrino, Picuni, Piluso, Pirera, Policastro, Portelli, Puglisi, Pulito, Raffa, Rfaffello, (Re), Rijtano or Riggitano, Ristuccia, Rizzo Romano, Ruffo, Ruggiero, Sciacca, Sciacchitano, Scilibbo~, Scimone, Scularici, Scularito, Sidoti, Siracusa, Spano`, Spataro, Spetiale, Spinella, Stancagiano, Stella, Sulfaro, Summa, Talamo, Taranto, Tartaro, Tauro, Terranova, Tesorero, Todaro, Trava, Trovatino, Turcarello, Uono, Urso, Vaccaro, Vintrici, Virgona, Vitagliano, Vitali, Viviano or Biviano, Voij, Vopa, Zahami, Zaija, Zanca, Zummo.

OK - now we have some names with Spanish or Portuguese lineage: Alconada, Almidoves, Arvodovola, Bailar, Basches, Baylon, Brea, Caravaxial, Conzales, Cubeta, D'Acugna, D'Almidavar, D'Alonzo, D'Aranges, De Paredos, Desqueto, De Xeda, Dies, Ernandes, Errera, Foardo or Fuardo, Garxia, Gomes, Hurtado, Ilares, La Noara, Lexona, Loarea, Lopes, Losada, majorca, Mancanas, Martines, Mendozza, Morales, Panay, Panaxi, Peres, Pixita` or Piscita`, Plado, Ramundo, Rodriques, Roes, Sallazar, Samore`, Sandoval, Uxeda, Vaglies, (Vasquez), Vecha, Vidal, Vivanco or Bivanco, Ximenes,

The above family were for the most part officials and military personnel - they were considered a different caste of people and for the most part kept apart from the islanders.

1618 - 1699 - Adornato, Arbiano or Albiano, Arico`, Baglio, Barnao, Barnava, Barrili, Biscotto, Bongiorno, Bono, Butta, Caravagli, Carbone, Casaceli, Casamento, D'Alia, (DiFina), Di Muro, Ferrazzano, Florio or Frolio, Fonti, Fraumeni, Galluppi, Giuffrida, Giunta, Giurdano, Iraci, La Macchia, La Rosa, Le Donni, Lucchesi, Mangano, Marchese, Marturano, Matarazzo, Mazza, Mazzolo, Merenda, Merrino, Molica, Monizio, Mursit, Muschera`, Ortesia, Pinzuni, Pittari, Pittorinio, Randazzo, Rando, Ravesi, Ricco, Rivello, Sappietro, Scattarecia, Schibbeci, Sciarrone, Scolaro, Sesta, Spicchiato, Tricoli, Trimoli, Virdichizzi or Pirdichizzi, Zojno or Zijno.

Between 1700 to 1750: Baraona, Caravella, Catafo, Coma, (D'Anieri), Di Maria, Favorito, Ferlazzo Fumia, Giardina, Lauria, LoCascio, Marraffa, martello, Muleta, Mursillo, Palmisano, Vivola.

Second half of the 18th Century: D'Albora, DeMauro, DiBenedetto, Favazza, Fenech, Ferrara, Giufre`, Curtisi or Cortisi, Mancuso, Mararo, Pitruzzo, Profilio, Salmieri, Sciarrone, Sipione, Tripi, Villanti.

During this period of time are registered many illigitimate children. A notation would be placed by the mother's name "filius Ecclesiae" (Child of the Church. Also they would be referred to by the place of birth of the mother or from where the family originally came. Some of these names are Nasitanu, Pattisanu, Calavrisi, etc. (the last two are easy from Patti and from Calabria - the first one could be from Naxos?) This practice was due to the fact that the family had not yet established or decide on fixed last name.

Did you find your last name .... don't forget that the names have changed with the passing of the years...but you may still be able to identify yours.

The Destruction of the City of Lipari

I am posting this story written by the Lipari tourism bureau. I hope that it will be no violation of copyright laws, as I am crediting it to them. If it is an issue to them I will have no problem in deleting it from the site with my thanks for its use while it is posted. This is computer translated from Italian. It is quite well done, but there are a few idiosyncrasies.

The Destruction of the City of Lipari byAriadenu Barbarossa

In 1519 Charles V enlarged his domain obtaining the imperial crown of Germany disputed by Francis I, King of France. Between these two kings on several occasions were fought terrible battles that turned the whole of Europe into a scene of strife. After more than twenty years of struggles, Francis I, to get rid of his opponent and satisfy his fierce passion for revenge and ambition, considering himself lower in strength, forgot to be Christian and established an alliance with Suleiman the Great, king of the Turks. He well understood that this was the right moment to take advantage of the discord between the two Christian kings to expand, so thanks to the work of pirates who had their homes along the coast of Africa, he drew from them rich loot.
A fleet of 150 ships, was therefore sent in 1543 by Suleiman to the aid of the French king. It was placed in charge of Ariadeno (ad-Khair dín), king of the pirates, commonly known under the name of Barbarossa, for his reddish and thick beard. He had already left Tunis with bad memories of his person during the time that it was the ruler. After travelling along the coast of Italy, having caused considerable damage in some seaside towns; he arrived in France, where for about a year he stayed close to Marseilles. After that, king Francis I, regretting the scandalous ties with those infidels, from which he had had only immense expenses and hatred of the Christian people, sent Barbarossa back to the East, giving him many gifts. Driven by his nature, the king of the pirates decided to take, even during the return journey, actions to draw strength from the Christians and the greatest possible spoils. The intentions of the pirate were known even before he undertook his return journey. The city of Lipari was in great fear, located on the route the Turkish armed naval fleet had to take in order to return home. The Viceroy of Naples, Don Pietro of Toledo, at the end of May 1544, sent a ship to inform the inhabitants of Lipari and warn them out about the threat that weighed on their city. The news did not bewilder the Liparesi, and even knowing the strength of the enemy, they mustered soul and fervour to prepare the defence of their city. From Messina, they provided, with money collected among themselves, abundant weapons and ammunition. It was the ancient custom that in case of danger the cities nearby would help each other by sending well-armed men, supplying food for three days to three weeks, and temporarily some pieces of artillery. So the city of Patti, as can be seen from a sixteenth century document that is preserved in the Municipal Archive of that city, on that occasion gave artillery to the island of Lipari. It was decided by inhabitants of the island that they should take the opportunity to send all the women, children and those unable to fight to Sicily to keep them away from danger and at the same time alleviate the amount of the provisioning needed to resist a long siege; but it was the opinion of those who had power that no one should leave the island so that the people of Lipari, being committed to defend their homeland and even their family, would thus fight with more tenacity and rage. Also, the possibility suggested by some, to let come from Messina, a strong garrison of Spanish troops to increase the number of defenders, had no happy outcome, trusting that only the forces of the island would be sufficient to defend the city. They did not have better luck from the request of the Viceroy of Naples to send a garrison to help.  Peter Toledo required the inhabitants of Lipari to bear the costs of the garrison, which was not accepted by the inhabitants, this being a large expense and impossible for them to pay it.
Lipari prepared to suffer the massive assault force of Ariadeno Barbarossa. Meanwhile a ship arrived from Naples for the Liparesi by the Viceroy Peter Toledo, full of munitions of war, as well as the warning that it would not be long till the arrival of Barbarossa. He, in fact, departed from Toulon for Constantinople, first robbed along the coast of Naples and then conquered the island of Ischia. Not satisfied with this devastation, at the end of June 1544 he moved against the island of Lipari to conquer it. Maurolico, historian of the time, writes that, on June 30, the Turkish fleet had reached up to Policastro, and the next day, from the highest peaks of Monte Peloro, it was seen approaching the Aeolian islands and that the number of ships was 144. The inhabitants of Lipari, who knew the reputation for cruelty of Barbarossa, as soon as they knew that the terrible pirate was arriving, trusting in the site of the city, strong by nature, withdrew all, as it had been decided, to the Castle, confident of being able to support a long siege. Inside the walls of this castle, was built the city itself and it was situated on a steep cliff surrounded by the sea, which made it difficult to conquer, and it was also provided with a fortress. The access to this cliff was only through a street which could be watched by a few people and whose entrance was protected by walls and ramparts. At the foot of the cliff there was an inhabited village that as soon as the famous pirate got closer, was abandoned by the people who ran to the confines of the Castle.
Barbarossa, arrived at the island, resolutely entered the port and laid siege to the Castle without wasting any time, sent an envoy asking for the surrender of the city. The residents were determined to fight rather than surrender.  Barbarossa landed his men on the beach of Portinenti. A strong central force and several guns were landed, when the artillery of the inhabitants of Lipari began to fire, causing serious damage to the enemy, and the ships of the attackers were forced to leave and find protection by the beach under the tip of Capistello. The Liparesi had some success before the ships be to be secured and two enemy galleys were sunk. The audacity of Liparesi didn’t disarm the assailants, who waited for the night to try again and proceed undisturbed, landing other troops and other guns, which were placed next to the old church of St. Bartholomew, which was close to the Franciscan convent. In this area, which was somewhat higher than the nearby ground, was arranged, the artillery and the camp for the troops. Only with the coming of the light of the day the Liparesi realized what the enemies had done the night before. Between the two contenders started a fierce and incessant duel. Day and night, without any respite, the city of Lipari was beaten by the cannons of Barbarossa, ruining the walls of the Castle and causing heavy losses among the ranks of the defenders. For a short time the besieged could counter the enemy with effective blows.  The third day their artillery was destroyed but the soul of the Liparesi was not. While they defended themselves bravely, the pirate sent thirty galleys to Patti to get a supply of water.  Prevented from getting the water for the continuing assaults by the Sicilian cavalry, the Turks sacked the town of Patti in revenge, taking rich booty and burning about one hundred and fifty homes.
The Liparesi, understood that any further resistance would  be in vain so they sent four ambassadors to Barbarossa for the conditions of surrender and beg for the safety of their city from destruction. Huge was the request of the pirate Barbarossa, that asked hundred thousand Scudi to leave the island. The ambassadors went back within the walls of their city and reported the response to the citizens. The conditions of surrender were extensively discussed, but the Liparesi not being able to raise such a large payment, requested that the pirate settle for a smaller sum. The proposal enraged the king of the pirates who, without delay ordered the bombing of the city. The siege machines approached the walls of the castle causing damage and victims, considering it dishonorable to leave without having conquering the city of Lipari.
On July 4, while Lipari was fighting fiercely, an eclipse of the full moon occurred and this gave rise to very strange beliefs. The Turks meanwhile, made even more ferocious by the heroic resistance of the Liparesi, redoubled their efforts and assaults. The besieged resisted, convinced that if the enemy succeeded in penetrating the Castle, they would all have been massacred without any reference to person, age or sex. In the meantime part of a main wall of the castle collapsed, destroyed by the shots of the enemies, and many defenders got injured. Superb in defence, derogatory of life, not at all discouraged, the besieged resisted, trying to repair each hole caused in the walls by the enemy bullets, with stones, mud and wood. To intimidate the besieged, Barbarossa, sure he would not receive any more trouble from the Liparese artillery, drew his galleys closed that had remained safe behind the tip of Capistello and let them enter in the bay of Portinenti, where other troops and pieces of artillery disembarked. The new preparations drove the Liparesi to send on July 8, to the camp of Barbarossa, a new embassy, composed of three of the most prominent citizens of the island, to implore the enemy to suspend the assault and make appropriate requests for ransom. The embassy was unsuccessful and the violent bombing of the city of Lipari continued more and more aggressively, so the Commander of the fortress of Lipari and the jurors decided to ask the intervention of Iacopo Camagna, a man esteemed by all, for his authority and practice in business. Camagna, seeing that the island was reduced to poor condition and that there was no hope of rescue, as it was surrounded by land and sea by the enemy, noting that its citizens mood was deeply broken, and the enemies were becoming more daring, although finding himself in precarious conditions, due to his years and his poor health, accepted the task of dealing with the enemy. Coming to Barbarossa, Camagna, with soft words and full of persuasion, tried to obtain clemency for its citizens, saying that they were ready to open the doors of their Castle as long as the pirate provided immunity of those who were inside. The proposal was not accepted by the enemy, which promised instead to leave free from any charge only twenty six families. This was brought by Camagna to his countrymen, who with a strong prayer decided not to surrender.
The besieged decided to send a new ambassador to Barbarossa in the person of Bartolo Comito, with an offer, as a condition of surrender, that each man could be free by paying twenty Scudi. It seemed that the proposal had been accepted by Barbarossa, so the Liparesi, convinced by the promises made to Camagna and Comito, tired of the long siege and lacking food and ammunition, decided to surrender.
On the morning of Friday July 11, after ten days of fierce fighting, all the people of the island, led by the Captain of the army and the elders of the city, went to the camp of Barbarossa to give him homage and deliver the keys of the city. The king of the pirates, accepting the submission, sent everybody back to the castle giving the order to his officers to compile a list of the richest twenty six families that according to the pacts were to be left free from any problem and from the payment of any tribute. In the afternoon of the same day Barbarossa, followed by his officials and a triumphant crowd of mercenaries, went inside the walls of the city of Lipari and gave the order to transport into the house of Camagna all the furniture of the free twenty six families, in order to preserve it from the looting that his soldiers would have made in the occupied city. After having done that, They granted to the Turks the looting in the city. Disorder and ferocity was everywhere, all sort of iniquity, robberies and inhuman acts were made. All the houses were stripped, and many of them were reduced to piles of stones by the ferocity of the devastation . To accelerate the vandal destruction, many parts of the city were set on fire. Nothing could hold back the devastating fury of the attackers, not the churches, not the sacred images, which were trampled, dirty with mud and dragged on the ground. The Church of St. Bartholomew, near the port, and the noble religious monastery of S. Francesco dell'Osservanza were destroyed and set on fire. Even the cathedral, erected by the munificence of the Norman Count Ruggiero, was set on fire after being sacked by the infidels. The great ceiling and the splendid works of painting and wood which made the temple an artistic treasure, were incinerated.  Also destroyed were the Municipal Archives in which were preserved many public writings of the Church and of the city of Lipari.
When the devastation of the city was finished, contrary to the established agreements, on the morning of Saturday July 12, Barbarossa ordered the transport onto the ships all the furniture that had been gathered in the house of Camagna, property of the twenty-six families left free and set fire to the  house of Camagna. Not only this, but Barbarossa, contrary to the conditions of surrender, after loading on the booty, carried onto the galleys the inhabitants of Lipari without relieving anyone from slavery.
Afterwards, he sacked and burned almost the entire city reducing to the most squalid desolation the island. The pirate brought with him huge booty, the unfair trophy of war, and more than eight thousand prisoners of both sexes and age, leaving the city completely depopulated. On July 14, the pirates plundered Milazzo and approached Catona close to Reggio Calabria, where, many of the Christians that were prisoners of Barbarossa, were redeemed especially by the Messinesi, including many Liparesi. The condition of the prisoners was serious, not easily fed, they were left to die of hunger and often thrown as useless into the ocean. After some days along the Calabrian coast, Barbarossa continued his journey, bringing to the East thousands of Christian slaves and rich booty. Among those who were redeemed from slavery there was Camagna, against whom many voices arose, accusing him of being a traitor, so, soon after he was released, the Governor of Messina detained him under serious charges. Camagna justified his conduct and proved his innocence and after a few months he was able to return to his hometown in Lipari. The Liparesi that got the ransom returned home and with those who had been saved by escaping to the nearby countryside, began to repopulate and rebuild the city.

The Battle of the Lipari Islands in the First Punic War

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Battle of the Lipari Islands
Part of the First Punic War
Aeolian Islands map.png
the Lipari islands, also known as the Aeolian Islands
Date260 BC
LocationLipara harbour, Sicily
ResultCarthaginian victory
CarthageRoman Republic
Commanders and leaders
Hannibal Gisco
Gnaeus Cornelius Scipio Asina
About 20 shipsAbout 17 ships
Casualties and losses
4 shipsFleet captured
The Battle of the Lipari Islands or Lipara (Lipara harbour, 260 BC) was the first encounter between the fleets of Carthage and the Roman Republic during the First Punic War. The Carthaginian victory was a result of an ambush, rather than a fixed battle.



After the land successes in Sicily such as the conquest of Agrigentum, the Romans felt confident enough to build and equip a fleet that would allow them to control the Mediterranean Sea. The Republic ordered, built and drilled the crews of a fleet of about 150 quinqueremes and triremes in a record two months. The patrician Gnaeus Cornelius Scipio (the year's senior consul) was given the command of the first 17 ships produced and sailed to Messana to prepare for the fleet's arrival and the crossing to Sicily.

The battle

While Scipio was at the strait, he received information that the garrison of Lipara was willing to defect to the Roman side. What happened next is usually described as a treacherous act of the Carthaginians, but the sources do not give much detail and are usually pro-Roman. Though at sea most likely to let the crews gain some experience, the consul could not resist the temptation of conquering an important city without a fight and sailed to Lipara. As the Romans entered the harbour with their brand new ships, a part of the Carthaginian fleet, commanded by Hannibal Gisco (the general defeated in Agrigentum) and Boodes, was either waiting in ambush (pro-Roman sources), or received word of the Roman fleet's position and surprised them. Boodes led about 20 ships to block the Romans inside the harbour. Scipio and his men offered little resistance. The inexperienced crews panicked and fled and the consul himself was captured. His credulity earned him the pejorative cognomen Asina, which means donkey in Latin. This cognomen was all the more insulting due to the fact that "asina" was the feminine form of the word donkey, as opposed to the masculine form "asinus".


The Lipara incident did not put an end to the First Punic War or Scipio Asina's career. Shortly afterwards, the junior consul, Gaius Duilius, avenged the humiliation by winning the battle of Mylae at the head of the rest of the fleet.

A Short History of the Aeolian (Eolian) Islands

This is a series of writing attempts that will be put together into a more coherent form later...Please be patient.

This is a photo of me inside the citadel of Lipari. The area in front of me is the excavation of early settlements dating from the bronze age. Parts of the museum are behind me and the Cathedral would be farther along that street(to your right) on the left side.

The Aeolian Islands are a part of a volcanic arc in the Tyrrhenian Sea. Their volcanic activity is the result of Africa pushing north into Europe. In fact, if the volcanoes were not less than 260,000 years old and built upon the bottom of the sea, you might say that they were a part of Africa. Indeed African crust can be seen overlaying parts of the Alps including the top of the Matterhorn.

The volcanic arc actually continues on across Greece even to the Aegean Sea leaving the Mediterranean basin full of hot springs and the resulting Spas.


In legend, the islands were the home of Aeolus, the demigod or keeper of the winds.
As with many early personalities, Aeolus is mixed up in mythology and genealogies that rely on a wish to be related to a god or king rather than fact.
There are three possible sources for the "person" Aeolus.

The first possible Aeolus was the son of Helen and Eponymous. He was the mythical founder of the Aeolian race in what is present day Thessaly in northern Greece.

The second Aeolus, descended from a centaur through his mother, fled Greece following the murder of his stepmother. He supposedly founded the town of Lipara as the center of an Aeolian colony.

The Third was a man named Liparus. He was a Greek colonial leader that was based on the mainland in Calabria. Aeolus was the son of Hippotes(Strangely, Hippo means horse, so this may refer to the Centaur again) He is also the Aeolus from Homeric literature.

In Homer’s Odyssey, Odysseus stopped at the island where Aeolus made his home. Aeolus was the demigod who controlled the winds. He gave Odysseus a bag containing a portion of the winds to help him back home. Unfortunately, the crew of his ship opened the bag before reaching home and they were blown back to the Aeolian Islands again where Aeolus refused to help him a second time.

Most of the islands have some evidence of prehistoric (Bronze Age) settlements, including round houses, tombs etc. The best places to see these are at Capo Graziano on Panarea and on the Citadel and countryside around and in the town of Lipari.

The islands were probably settled as early as 3500BC, and the identity of those people can only be guessed at if indeed they were the first there. There were earlier Italic tribes there to be sure, but may have originated in the Aegean or the Iberian Peninsula.  The deposits of obsidian were a valuable commodity in the bronze age and earlier for use as cutting tools and weapons.  This made the islands especially attractive to those early settlers.

The islands are visible from the mainland and from Sicily, and any place visible from inhabited land masses could have been at least visited by any group of humans who might have seen them far into pre-history.

Mycenaeans (well known from stories of the Trojan war) arrived in the islands in about 1400 BC and later the Sicels arrived from the mainland in about 1200 BC. Neither is thought to have established a permanent settlement there, but the Sicels remained active to some extent even after the arrival of the main body of Greek settlers. The Sicels are the source of the name Sicily.


More permanent Greek settlers arrived in Salina around the 4th and 5th century BC. Settlers from Cnidus(In Greek Asia Minor), led by Pentathios, arrived in the islands as early as 580 BC after establishing settlements in the Selinute area of Sicily. The Selinute area is still noted for its magnificent Greek ruins.

There are massive Greek(Hellenic)remains in the form of a necropolis and a settlement on the acropolis in Lipari. There is also a major Greek settlement beneath the town of Santa Marina Salina, which makes sense as the closest point to the next and most historically populated island of Lipari. Inland from Santa Marina are the remains of Greek tombs. There is at least one tomb also at Malfa near a sports facility there.

In this Greek period, Salina, because of its double volcanoes was known as Dydima (The twins) However the island is actually made up of no less than five volcanoes, the oldest of which is at Capofaro where it looks like our Cafarellas are from. Stromboli was Strongyle, the youngest Island, Vulcano was Hiera and Lipari was named oddly enough because it was inhabited by Liparians.


Around 427 BC, both Athenians and Carthaginians attempted to occupy the area. However, by this time, the Liparians had become or had been replaced by Pirates who resisted this new occupation.


Major conflicts took place in the first Punic war at Lipari(in the 200s BC), and eventually, after a number of battles, it became a town under the Roman empire. There are ruins of a Roman villa along the coast of Salina near Santa Marina.

The Roman strongman/consul involved at the time was named Gaius Aurelius L.f. Cotta...Hmmm....could there be a relation to the Cincotta name or does the name really mean 58 and refer to pirates from Spain?

Anyway, there was a depopulation of the islands at the beginning of the Roman presence. The Romans felt that the islanders, who had allied themselves with the Carthaginians, were too hard headed and untrustworthy to leave there. Of course, the population was removed to Calabria and to Campagna, where the Romans later collected new settlers to repopulate the islands.

It seems that the population was ferried back and forth from Calabria and Campagna over the centuries.

VANDALS(Barbarian tribes from Europe and the east)

In 440 there was a brief take over of Sicily by the Vandals just before the fall of the Roman empire. They were also heavily entrenched in North Africa.

In 476 Odoacer,(Vandals) a follower of Atilla the Hun captures the last Roman emperor, Romulus Augustulus and the Roman Empire falls.

OSTROGOTHS(A Barbarian tribe)

In 493 Thoderic defeats Odoacer and the Ostrogoths become rulers of all of Italy.


In 535, The Byzantine General Belisarius takes Sicily for the Byzantine Emperor Justinian.


In 827 the Byzantine governor Euphemius has an affair with a nun. He is dismissed by the emperor. Euphemius invites Northern African Muslim kings to help his cause and invites them into Sicily. The Saracens/Muslims take the entire island for themselves.

Pirates again depopulated the islands in the 800s as an episode in this conquest of Sicily and the islands by Muslims. Again there was an eventual re-population from the mainland.

I feel that I should mention that people were prone to fleeing to the hills and hiding amongst the boulders, caves and rude shelters on all those volcanoes when adversity threatened. I do not for one minute believe that every last human was removed in all these catastrophes. I do believe that any who were left behind probably high-tailed it to Lipari for a safer shelter after each instance. This often left the islands to livestock as grazing land.

In 902, the last of Sicily falls to the Saracens at Taormina.

One of the many ethnic groups that allied to invade the islands and Sicily during the Muslim conquest was a group from Crete. Of course there were many groups from Greece in the area over the centuries, but my suspicion is that this may have been the time when the Malvasia wine was developed, as the grapes originated in Crete.


In 1061 Emir Inb-al-Timmah feuds with his co-ruler Ibn-al-Hawas. He invites the Norman, Roger de Hauteville to help him in this feud. Will they never learn? This is the beginning of the Norman occupation of Sicily. By 1091 Muslims are completely driven out.

The Muslims were a major force in Sicily and the islands till 1091. Of course they were only one of the many cultures that influenced the area till Italy finally became a single nation in the mid 19th Century, France(Norman and Angevin), Spain, Germany (Holy Roman Empire)and Byzantines being the other major players.

It was in this time period that King Roger II of Sicily made an agreement with the local bishopric, granting the church rights to the land in all the islands. This affected land use and apportionment in the islands right up to the 1860s.

The church contended that they owned the land and granted rights to the people on the islands at its whim, while most others believed that the Bishop was given Feudal Rights to the area, which does not necessarily mean ownership but perhaps an income source or a stewardship of the land in return for services to the crown.

When that crown no longer existed and was replaced through conquest by the crown of Sardinia and later Italy, I would assume that those rights would lapse, if they had not already lapsed somewhere in the shuffle of rulers over the centuries.

The Bishop was able to exercise his power when the booming wine trade was at its height. The Bishop had to place severe restrictions on the use of the land on Salina as farmers had worked their way right up the mountains, threatening it with complete deforestation. The farmers were forced to abandon all the land that had been encroached upon to allow the natural vegetation to return.

Today, much of the land on the mountains is preserved in its more natural state.


In 1194, Henry VI invades Sicily and is crowned king in Palermo. He is the Holy Roman Emperor and father of Frederick II,(Known as Stupor Mundi{wonder of the world}).  Sicily is officially a part of the Holy Roman Empire(German)


1266 Charles II gains the Sicilian throne for France.


War of the Spanish Vespers from 1282-1302 replaces the French with relatives of the Aragonese/Catlan kings. The area is now Spanish.

In 1544, when Spain declared war on France, King Francis I of France asked the Ottoman Sultan Suleiman for help. The latter sent a fleet headed by Khair ad Din. (He was also known as Barbarossa. He should not be confused with the Holy Roman Emperor by that name) He was victorious over the Spaniards, and managed to retake Naples from them.

In the course of these battles, the Aeolian Islands were placed under siege and were depopulated. Some of the former citizens that had been ransomed in Messina and immigrants from mainland Italy, Sicily and Spain re-established communities on Lipari.(see the story of the siege of Lipari in a separate post)

I might note here that there were long periods of abandonment all through the history of the islands. The isolation, lack of good water sources etc., made it very difficult to rebuild after the repeated devastation of the islands.

All the histories of the time leave little openings for speculation where the word "most" is used instead of "all" when it came to the depopulation stories.

Despite the possibility that islanders were never completely removed, here is no evidence that we can trace our collective bloodlines back to Greek, Roman, Etruscan or Italic tribes in continuous residence on the islands. I like to think however that these lapses in story telling leave room for the possibility that some people fled into hiding in the country, returned from brief exile, or returned when the threat was over in isolated pockets.

Only genetic research is going to get us any closer to understanding our connections with the past.

Some islanders returned almost immediately as stated above. Barbarossa was no longer a threat, but there were still pirates working the Mediterranean (including Barbarossa's brother) for a couple of centuries. It was safer for most to stay in Lipari where the fortress still stood and was actually strengthened and where they could congregate together for safety.

Thanks to his feudal rights, the Archbishop was basically in charge of the land, granting parcels to people for agricultural use, and bringing in families from Calabria, Campagna and Sicily to help rebuild the population.

If there were settlements on the other islands, it would have been safer to keep the families based in Lipari and to visit their land for the purposes of planting, cultivating and tending livestock. Eventually shelters were built, houses repaired and rebuilt.

By 1610, there was a census. The islands were not wealthy, but they certainly supported a population, often with large land owning Padrones. Hired labor or their extended families worked the land.

Commerce recovered in a modest way. However, it took about 200 years and the machinations of a short Corsican for the real boom to occur.

When Napoleon Bonaparte swept through Italy, bringing siblings and in-laws with him to sit on the old thrones throughout Italy, the British were determined to stop his advance into Sicily, across the straights of Messina. They established an encampment at Messina to help prevent his crossing.

When you have a large body of military men, you have to feed them. Most could make do with the common wines and produce of Sicily, assuming that they could not get Marmite from home. The officers however had a taste of Malvasia.

There were varieties of Malvasia that were not much more than a rather low grade of table wine, but on the other end of the spectrum were the marvelous sweet wines made from partially dried grapes. These rivaled the finest wines available anywhere. Of course, when the Malvasia of the islands appeared on the tables of the military stationed there in Messina, it was not long before officers returning to England brought the love of Malvasia home with them, joining Sherries, Madeiras and Ports as favorites on the English table.

It was not long before a lively trade in raisins, capers and pumice joined the Malvasia in ever expanding trade with the mainland of Italy, England, France, Portugal, the Adriatic and eventually to the new world.  There was also trade in obsidian and coral for jewelry.  Often obsidian, but more often coral would be taken to Torre Del Greco on the bay of Naples not far from Pompeii to be converted to jewelry.

All this trade started locally and expanded outward in small ships with Lateen sails like slightly larger version of the Feluccas still seen on the Nile.

Malvasia was not a new wine. Those of you who remember your Shakespeare may remember that in the Middle Ages, the Duke of Clarence was drowned by the henchmen of his brother Richard III at the Tower of London in a "butt of Malmsey".  Malmsey was an earlier name for Malvasia. I am not too sure where THAT "Malmsey" would have come from, as the grape originated in Crete where they had been making a similar wine for centuries.

Many of the families of the islands built small trading empires, sailing the Mediterranean in small boats carrying the wine and other local products.  This trade is detailed in the book: "Mercanti di Mare", by Marcello Saija.

The economy boomed till 1889, when Phylloxera infections that had already devastated many of the vines in Europe finally hit the islands' Malvasia vines. (The little insect carrying the virus, was native to eastern North America and brought to Europe by botanists in Britain.  Here was another case of the Americas having their little revenge on the old world!) The destruction of the vines devastated the wine based economy which did not fully recover till the 1960s.  The virtual end of the wine production along with the advent of steam vessels that few of the local island families could now afford to invest in, presented the islanders with hard choices.  They could stay on islands that had difficult living conditions in the nineteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth, even when the economy was being kind to them, or start off fresh in America, Australia, Argentina and more industrial areas of Europe.  Nearly half of the population of the islands emigrated, and some of the islands were nearly deserted.   

Stereoptican Slide

This is a French Stereopticon slide from the end of the 19th century or the beginning of the 20th century.  It is one I bought at auction in France.  The sailing ship is on its way to Salina from Lipari.

Steel Engraving of Lipari

Here is a 19th century steel engraving from an old book of the city of Lipari as you would see it arriving by ferry from Vulcano.  Note the castle and
cathedral on the promontory. 

A Book Worth Looking For.

I am currently trying to oder a copy of this book that shows or describes ships and boats in use in western Italian waters up to the 19th century.  This would likely include ships and boats in use in the islands.  I know from reviews, that some of them are present in the book.  I will keep you posted about how to find a copy, though you may be successful just searching for it yourself.

Vele Italiane della Costa Occidentale dal Medioevo al Novecento

1692 Muller Map of Italy
One of several maps I will be uploading.  Recently purchased at auction.
A German Map of Southern Italy and the Islands from 1898
This is southern Italy and the Aeolian Islands from 1898,
the year that Grammie came to the United States
Another of several maps I recently purchased at auction.
An American map of Italy in 1888

Here is Italy in 1888 when Grammie was born.
One of several maps I recently purchased at auction.
Kingdom of Naples and Sicily in 1850 to 1855
Another map I recently purchased at Auction. 
This is a French map of the kingdom of Naples and Sicily,
 in the period between 1850 and 1855
A Woman from Lipari in 1895 Engraving
Does anyone recognize their great grandmother here?

Italian fishermen of the 1930s trading card

Italian trading card 1930s
One of a number of ships or boats used by family and islanders.