Vulcano was called “island of fire” by the Greeks, where gods manufactured the heroes weapons. The island’s volcanic activity impressed several ancient historians: from Senofane to Tucidide, from Aristotele to Plinio.
In more recent times, Campis, a XVIIth century historian, reported that considerable quantities of wood, alum and sulphur were obtained from the island. Mining exploitation started with the Romans and continued until the Borbonic period. After the fall of this dynasty, in 1860, the northern part of the island was bought by Stevenson, a Britain, who built a villa, reworked the mines and planted the first vineyards.
He continued his predecessors work. He had a track built that went into the crater, where brick shelters were built for the workers.
In 1888, the last volcano eruption convinced Stevenson to leave and sell everything. The people of the Gelso and Piano area, shepherds and peasants, remained and were the only ones to live on the island.
The starting of elementary agriculture, based mainly on vines, gave new interests to this beautiful island, which is now one of the favourite tourist destinations in the Aeolian archipelago.
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