Journalist, traveler and fine gourmet
At first glance the Aeolian Islands may seem very similar to each other, in reality the seven sisters are distinguished from each other by a specific dominant trait. Salina is certainly the “greener” one, due to the rich and luxuriant vegetation that surrounds it.
A small treasure chest surrounded by the sea which preserves, in its hinterland, a laborious agricultural community that has always been dedicated to the cultivation of unique products, such as capers and Malvasia and Corinth grapes. The favourable climatic conditions of the island (lava soils, wind and low humidity) allow to operate in an organic farming regime, without using any chemical treatments.
Let’s start from the Signum, in the municipality of Malfa, for a quick food tour of Salina Isola Verde.
Here are some valuable travel tips:
Paperò al Glicine
An evocative fishing village nestled in valley overlooking the sea. Welcome to Rinella, one of the most charming panoramas of Salina. Near the black sand beach, surmounted by characteristic caves carved into the rock (formerly used for the shelter of fishing boats), you will find Paperò al Glicine, a small family-run bar where you can taste one of the best granita (slush) of the island (it is easy to meet also the chef Martina Caruso, who always comes here with friends).
Among the flavours most appreciated by customers there is the one with ricotta – a real must for the restaurant – but also the everlasting mulberry, lemon and coffee slush with cream.
Particular attention also to environmental sustainability with the line of biodegradable cups and glasses made ad hoc with the name of Paperò.
Viticulture has always been one of the pillars of Salina’s economy, on the island there is even a Wine Museum in the municipality of Santa Marina. According to historical sources, Malvasia was introduced to the archipelago by some Venetians, fleeing the attacks of the Turks in the first half of the seventeenth century. So a nomadic wine variety that, from Greece, crossed the Mediterranean. The most beautiful vineyards are in Malfa, where most of renowned wineries of Salina such as Caravaglio can be found. The company was born in 1989 and since its foundation it produces according to the dictates of organic agriculture. Today there are 20 hectares, divided into about 30 plots between the islands of Salina and Lipari. The main wine varieties, besides Malvasia, are Corinth and Nerello Mascalese. Do not miss a guided tasting in the company of Nino Caravaglio (you can book through the Signum reception), to learn secrets and anecdotes related to the heroic Aeolian viticulture and the cultivation of capers.
In 2017, the entrepreneur Giuseppe Mascoli – owner of the restaurant brand Franco Manca, very popular in the United Kingdom – inaugurated his first restaurant in Italy and chose Salina in the Aeolian Islands. Franco Manca Salina is located in the pedestrian area of Lingua and the place outside look directly onto the sea. It is directed by Sergio Zecchini, born in Messina and living in Salina for almost twenty years, assisted by a staff of very young people. Among the dishes, I suggest you to try the mythical messinese rolls (“brociolette”) prepared according to the ancient Sicilian recipe, the salads with products from the garden of Giuseppe Mascoli in Salina and then the 6 pizzas indicated on the menu (including “Martina ”, Dedicated to the chef of the Signum). The ingredients used in the kitchen are all at zero mile, coming from Sicily and in particular from Salina, where Mascoli has started a project of organic agriculture and a small production of natural wine in amphora.
Azienda Agricola Salvatore D’Amico
Salina cannot be left without first get some supplies to take home. Our advice is to go to Leni, it is only 4km from the Signum, for a visit with tasting at the Salvatore D’Amico farm. In the store you can find two of the symbolic products of Salina, capers and Malvasia delle Lipari – defined by Guy de Maupassant as “the wine of volcanoes” – to be combined with the typical sesame biscuits produced on the island. The extra virgin olive oil is also very good. The D’Amico oil mill is the only one existing in the Aeolian Islands and produces an oil with a characteristic fruity flavor. History enthusiasts will also be able to admire the ancient millstone of the 1900s used in the past for pressing the grapes.