First human stations in the Eolian Islands date back to the IVth millennium b.C., dued to Sicilian populations encouraged by the presence of an important mineral resource: the sharp oxidiane stone, valued as a good of primary importance before the discovering of the metals working-out. Frequented and colonized by people of Greek origin, the Eolian Islands played a major strategic role since the ancient times in controlling the sea routes crossing the Strait of Messina.
Lipari, the largest and more liveable island, was conquered by the Carthaginians in 304 b.C., who made of it the most important port among their settlements in Sicily. During the battle within Carthago and Rome, Lipari was subdued to a heavy siege in 258, capitulating the following year. Since Romans razed it out, the island lost its ancient importance, and a long phase of decadence started.
It became archiepiscopal seat in the first Christian Age and a pilgrimage destination, where St. Bartholomew’s relics, brought there from Armenia as the traditions tells, were venerated. The Arabs plundered it many times, and deported part of its inhabitants. Lipari slowly turned to live again during the Norman Age.
Charles V, as he descended to Sicily, tried to repopulate and rebuild Lipari. Since that time, the people thence installed on the island, followed the fate of the whole Sicily.