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The first settlers of ancient Greece called this island with the name Didyme, for the unmistakable appearance of the two "twin" mountains that stood out against the sea. At the center of the island, set in the Aeolian archipelago in the province of Messina, a 285 meters high depression, the fertile saddle of Valdichiesa, cultivated with Malvasia vineyards, separates the two groups of reliefs. The natural beauties, the various geological and volcanological aspects, the traces of prehistoric settlements, Greeks and Romans, let the seven islands to gain the inclusion (in 2002) in the UNESCO World Heritage Site thanks to the dual character of the archaeological park and volcanological landscape in constant evolution.

Salina still manages to retain the charm of a place deeply marked by ancient history, where important evidences related to maritime and agricultural activities are intertwined with the fertility of the land, covered by the vineyards of Malvasia grape and caper bush, quality products exported throughout the world. The trade itself has always characterized the economy of the island, making an obligatory stop of the itineraries traveled by the merchants of the sea on the Tyrrhenian and Ionian coasts of Sicily to the port of Naples.

From Malvasia, an autochthonous vine that is now cultivated in rows (it has almost completely disappeared the system of prieule , that's the low pergolas), the famous Malvasia delle Lipari Doc, a golden yellow wine with amber reflections, is obtained with the drying process. It is carachterised by an intense smell of broom flowers and aromatic herbs, hints of ripe apricot and pleasantly honeyed, full, aromatic and persistent taste. This wine, introduced into the island by the Greeks around 588 a. C. (its name derives almost certainly from the Greek city Monenvasìa, from the Morea region, now Peloponnese), is one of the oldest ones in Sicily and its technique is repeated for centuries: the grapes are harvested in an advanced state of ripeness, exposed to the sun for 10-15 days on traditional racks of canes (cannizzzi) and turned into must with "beam" presses. In this generous land the caper is also born, a cultivation that comes naturally on terraced land most exposed to the sun, characterized by the unmistakable dry stone walls that surround and delimit the gardens and houses.

Info: www.comune.santa-marina-salina.me.it

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