“When anxious, uneasy and bad thoughts come, I go to the sea, and the sea drowns them out with its great wide sounds, cleanses me with its noise, and imposes a rhythm upon everything in me that is bewildered and confused.”
– Rainer Maria Rilke
Where to begin..
Panarea is a volcanic island in the north of Sicily, southern Italy, and is the smallest of the seven inhabited Aeolian Islands. My aunt has the most beautiful home there, which she so generously opens to our whole family and a rotation of many friends.
I just spent a wonderful week there, so the feeling of this island is still very present in me, and I can’t think of a more magical setting to share on Funga this month.
Panarea and the entire Aeolian chain were declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2000, which means building on the islands is very constricted. Around 280 people live in Panarea all year round; otherwise, most houses have temporary occupancy, especially during summer.
There are no cars on the islands and hardly any beaches, which means one spends most of one’s time on the water. I adore this boat life, which is very different from other islands I have spent time on. Nothing gives me greater pleasure than going for a long swim in a beautiful ocean – this water is particularly special and healing due to its volcanic properties and texture, which feels like the softest silk.
If you don’t want to spend all day at sea, you can visit a little beach with access to a wonderful hike to the top of the mountain to watch the sunset.
Some more scenes from my days there:
My favourite other Aeolian island is Filicudi. Heading towards it from Panarea, it looks like a pregnant woman sleeping. I love islands that exude a female energy, which is maybe why I am so attracted to this one.
What a luck and privilege to get to spend time on an island that is so unique and intimately bound to the sea.
“Yes, as everyone knows, meditation and water are wedded forever.”
– Ishmael, Moby Dick
While there, I lost all sense of time and can truly say I was living fully in the present, enjoying every moment of the day with my loved ones around me. I can’t wait to be back…