"Discover Lipari, Vulcano, Salina, Stromboli, Filicudi, Alicudi and Panarea" Everyone has his own Italy: the Rome of Bernini and the Colosseum, the beaches of Rimini or Cattolica, the slimy canals and aristocratic palaces of decaying Venice, or the small towns encountered as if by sheer inspiration: Anagni, Bevagna, Pienza, Palestrina, Monselice. Erice... My Italy is rocky Perugia of the windy winters, magnificent Florence whose streets are paved with sculpture, and something more than a handful of infinitesimal volcanic peaks rising like greeny-brown icebergs from the Tyrrhenian sea north of Sicily. This is not the Sicily one reads of in Pirandello or Verga: the Catania of Capuana or Martoglio; the Syracuse of Vittorini; the Palermo recorded by Lampedusa and discovered again, teeming and afraid, by the saintly Danilo Dolci. It is not the Sicily that Plato knew. Civilization brought Lipari and her sisters some neolithic villages, shipwrecks of course without number, a great citadel, a few nondescript churches and simple houses. Otherwise, the Aeolians are timeless. Their scale is geological rather than historical and the spitting, fiery Stromboli is their symbol. With an unerring sense of the dramatic. Jules Verne chose Stromboli for the climax to his "Journey to the Centre of the Earth." I have kept the dialogue to a minimum, not because talk isn't important to an Aeolian (not one I met would read or write rather than talk) but because straightforward translations miss the range of modulation and intonation on which a Sicilian prides himself and because any reported conversation with Italians necessarily lacks the accompanying vocabulary and gesture and facial contortion. If you haven't listened to a Sicilian argument, I can't do it for you. If you have, you'll never forget it anyway, and will easily imagine whatever I omit. PHILIP WARD Part of the Oleander Classics series, this 1973 title has been reproduced using the highest-quality modern scanning technology in order to keep this and other important works from the Press's 50-year history from going out of print. In this way, the invaluable resources provided by books in the series remain available for general readers, academics and other interested parties.