PreambleThese images of the forties tell an Italy that no longer exists. A time when, being able to go to school and study was already considered a great luxury.
Of a time when men, women and children indiscriminately, tearing the earth and the sea, the little that needed simply to survive.
Those seeking employment and fortune in distant countries, with only the dream of returning one day to his native land to live and get married.
This Italy no longer exists, only the beautiful pictures in black and white of seventy years ago remind us how we were and how beautiful it was our country.
Many, many things have changed for the better, the welfare of the island today is notable but the reverse of the card is bitter.
The tuna are disappearing from the Mediterranean such as swordfish, the pumice quarries have long been closed, despite the pumice of the Aeolian Islands is considered, due to its
characteristics (more than 80% porosity), one of the best environmentally friendly materials for the building industry .
the vineyards of the Aeolian islands still produce the famous and precious sweet wine.
The Aeolian Islands are a place where everyone wants to live but with a look of nostalgia in the past.
The quarries of Pumice and Obsidian.The extraction of pumice and obsidian began in the fifth millennium BC, in correspondence of the first settlements documented phenomenon that gave rise to the first timid examples of globalization of trade, the ore was exported throughout the Mediterranean. The pumice was used in the abrasion of harpoons, fish hooks, axes etc.., While the obsidian was used for the construction of blades chipped, product unsubstituted until the discovery of metals. In Roman times, as the pumice was also used as a light material construction.
The first documentation related to the exploitation of the pumice quarries dating back to the late sixteenth century, a period in which we witnessed a gradual expansion of the
settlements, in particular that of Canneto, in which the second half of the seventeenth century were organized small businesses dedicated to 'export of pumice, which reached stock of about 500 tons, mainly intended to Tuscany, Campania and the city of Marseille].
Since the eighteenth century the trading opportunities offered by the use of deposits attracted numerous French traders, a phenomenon that helped to increase the export of pumice to altitudes of 700 tons per year.
Fishing for SwordfishFishing for swordfish in the waters of the Strait of Messina, is an ancient art. Do not you have some news about its origin.
The swordfish is a fish up to 4 meters long and heavy, at times, even three hundred pounds. Its color is dark-gray above and silvery below.
It feeds instead of cuttlefish and squid. It has a delicate flesh, pink and very nutritious. The sword, which is the extension of the upper jaw, is an appendage long and flattened where the fish is used as a weapon of offense and defense.
At one time they used a boat lean and fast, four-oared painted black, so they seem like a fish. They called luntru and were built by the finest craftsmen of Ganzirri and Torre Faro, who chose mulberry wood or oak.
Its name apparently derives from Linter, flat-bottomed boat used by the Romans for fishing and coastal transport.
In the center was a small tree 3 meters high and half said Farere where, on special projections, would put a spotter. On luntro acted usually five or six men, including a harpooner.
To these touched the task of the swordfish spear with a long lance the end of which there was a curved hook that, once penetrated in its meat, not get out most if not with agony.
But luntri, before the force of the sword-fighting for their own survival, they were always fragile.
the TonnaraThe tonnara is a traditional system of tuna fishing, consisting of a set of fixed, divided into two main complexes: one starts from the shore and pushing a few miles into the sea, it serves to interrupt the running of the tuna and direct it to the second complex (island of networks), consists of a varied number of rooms inside which penetrates the tuna, then being pushed to the death chamber, where the killings took place.
The maneuvers are controlled by a boss, the Rais, who directs the operations of the crew, when the tuna are caught, many boats are put around the room of death, and, under the command of the rais, the crew begins to lift the net, forcing the tuna to surface. The rais order the start of the massacre: harpooned tuna are pulled in the boats with skill, taking advantage of the momentum of the animal jumping out of the water.
AgriculturePrior to the development of tourism in the eighties, the island's economy was primarily based on agriculture, the main activity consisted in the cultivation of vineyards.
From the vineyards are derived fine wines and genuine high alcohol content, the the prized "Malvasia delle Lipari" is a dense wine, sweet and light-colored, ranked as one of the best dessert wines.
The capers, produced in the islands of Vulcano, Lipari and Salina, meet easily in uncultivated countries, clinging to the rocks or stone walls.
Used in local cuisine, along with Malvasia, are exported all over the world.
Aeolian architecture.Aeolian style old houses:
They were built with existing materials: hydrated lime that was light and easy to carry with ships and was used with the sand to make the mortar, the stones of the place, chestnut poles or fir for beams.
The exterior walls were thick and dry constructed, the oldest houses had an outer layer of stone and lime mortar and in the thickness, sometimes cm. 80 or 100, soil and stones, while the floors had a special technique: beams placed at cm. 40 from each other, reed mats on the beams, a layer of stones, mortar of lime and sand batting well and became hard and compact as reinforced concrete.
A curiosity is the anti-seismic construction that was obtained in structures: foundations made with stones "live" ( particolarly heavy and hard), dry walls with living stones, soil, mortar and stone slabs with a layer of "dead" (ie read and crumbly). In this way the house had a heavy base, sturdy walls and ceiling light and could "float" on the ground in case of shock.
Some of the older houses, even on two levels, had thicker walls and foundations sometimes just 30 cm deep.
Aeolian style was simple and practical: - cubes perfectly squared and can be easily constructed, - outside the cubes were flavored with a the "stone boundary", cantilevered edges of different colors on the sides of the house and of the doors, or with sculptures, always in mortar, placed on the roof and that accounted capers; houses could be expanded by adding other cubes depending on the need the family simply by building three walls and laying the new floor on one side of the existing, the thick walls allowed to retain the heat produced with the brazier in winter and made ??the rooms cool in the summer.
In the chamber most important there was a small loft (mezzanine) that was used to store food; the bathroom, very small, it was out of the house for reasons of hygiene, contained only one seat wall and a hole that went straight into the cesspool underlying so that the water was not necessary to download, but they used the lime to disinfect, the kitchen was small and generally consists of a furnace with two or three burners and almost always had a bread oven, sometimes two ovens , one large and one small bread for sweets.
In the wealthier houses the kitchen was great and the oven was a loft where it was possible to sleep in the winter the heat from the oven; outside the house there was the terrace with benches (bisuoli) masonry columns (pulera) supporting an arbor screw, the wash, the pool for the dyeing of networks, the reservoir from which to draw the rainwater that was collected by gravity from the rooftops - the mouth of the tank was always the side of the sink and this, being on the outside, allowed the recovery of the water used for washing to water the garden in front of the terrace; there were two types of stores: the fin and the millstone.
The pinnata was a warehouse to store tools and consisted of a floor against a wall of the house or simply a wall and at least one open side. The millstone was the place where you grind and gathered wine with an ingenious system of levers and pressed by boulders that allowed very few people to do a huge amount of work.
When world of cinema came to the Island.
The events concerning the production of the two films rivals were reconstructed for the first time in 2000 in the book "The War of the Volcanoes". The film was produced by Panaria Film of Prince Franz Alliatas, to go out in theaters before 2 February 1950. Was a member of the crew ethnologist and photographer Fosco Maraini.
Anna Magnani is the most charming representative of the great female film-Mediterranean mother, the first woman that embodies all the femininity of our culture and our history. A universal woman. A goddess unattainable, but also extremely earthly, sensual, sensual. A woman who is tyranny harpy, but who can also be honey to the soul of the warrior tired, thirsty boon for the senses, word of wisdom and resolution, but also incitement to fight. Love, lover, sister, a woman who embodies all women. And great actress.
"When Anna Magnani has landed in Vulcano, Stromboli has taken to grumble. A volcano gives a nod to another, and when the volcanoes wink they.....explode."