Postcards from Stromboli

Explore the arts venues scattered across the remote Italian island, home to Volcano Extravaganza and the former villa of Marina Abramović

Plumes of smoke from an active volcano welcome visitors to Stromboli, a remote scrap of land off the North coast of Sicily. This rumbling beast never sleeps, making the island – the fabled seat of Aeolus, Greek ruler of the winds – feel like the edge of the world.

The approach to Stromboli. The volcano is active year-round and smoke/ash is visible
Stromboli’s active volcano. Photography: Michael Wilkin

Just 500 people live on Stromboli, made famous by Roberto Rossellini’s 1949 film of the same name. But despite the volcano’s threatening presence, it has long attracted an artistic crowd. Serbian performance artist Marina Abramović lived here for five years, and Italian artists Giovanni Anselmo and Mimmo Paladino also made it their home.

Black volcanic sands line the beach at the small beachfront village of Ficogrande on Stromboli
Black volcanic sand lines the beach beside the small village of Ficogrande. Photography: Michael Wilkin

Since 2011, Stromboli has played host to an annual art and music festival, Volcano Extravaganza. This free public event is presented by Fiorucci Art Trust, which invites a cohort of creatives from across the world to harness the raw power of nature.

Our sister brand The Vinyl Factory made the annual pilgrimage to the festival earlier this month. For the second year running, it curated the music programme, enlisting the talents of Icelandic musician Ragnar Kjartansson, DJ, artist and poet Juliana Huxtable and electronic duo Tempers, who wrote lyrics inspired by the island.

In this photo essay, The Vinyl Factory’s Michael Wilkin leads us on a tour of the Stromboli landscape, its white-washed villas – including Abramović’s former home – and one the world’s most remote music venues: Club Mega.



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