The Aeolian Islands: the heart of the Mediterranean and UNESCO heritage. Let’s discover with Aliceful the eco B&B “Al Numero Zero” in Lipari, a real sustainable pearl.
The Aeolian Islands: volcanic islands off the coast of Sicily. Did you know why they are called Aeolian? It is said that comes from that of Aeolus, the god of the winds who, according to Greek mythology, found shelter on the coasts of these islands.
It is here that Alice Pomiato (on Instagram @aliceful), a young girl from Treviso, arrives with her partner, after crossing half the world, and knows the small farm “Al Numero Zero” of Luigi. Here she spends a unique experience and collaborates with the small company in agricultural work and care of animals.
Slow travel and living in a place, are just some of the keywords of Alice’s philosophy. So we suggest some tips for eco-sustainable travel to Lipari and the other Aeolian Islands.
Hi Alice, first of all: How did you arrive at the eco-BnB “Al Numero Zero” in the volcanic countryside of Lipari?
It was October 2020, I had just returned from New Zealand and my partner and I were wondering how to spend the winter months when we came across a Facebook post that read just that:
“Serious post. I am offering a room with sea and island views, food, wine, drinking water, fast internet, wood stove, books and use of transportation to anyone who would like to come and stay here, At Number Zero, Lipari, during November-February to help me with farm work, animal management and small routine maintenance work.”
That post went viral, catching the attention of so many people around the world. Suddenly we sent an email to apply and we were lucky enough to be chosen together with a couple from Marseille. So we did the first two months and they did the next two. Then we stayed another month on the island to do house-sitting.
For those who don’t know what “House-sitting” is, it’s a new way of traveling: the owner of the house hosts a “Housesitter” who takes care of the house while he is traveling. The house-sitting sites are increasing, for example, MindMyHouse.
What eco-friendly characteristics of the “Al Numero Zero” eco-BnB did you appreciate the most?
A lot! First of all, the fact that Luigi, the person who welcomed us, gave life to this place 5 years ago. So from a family vacation home to a small farm and BnB with a couple of rooms for rent for part of the year. Besides in the garden, we grow seasonal and organic vegetables.
Moreover, the fruit and the vegetables are sold to the islanders through the Popular Purchasing Group. In this way, growers and shoppers from the islands get together to sell/buy the products of the land. A simple idea that allows supporting the economy and the local producers, eating in a healthy way.
The warehouse itself has started a Social Garden that everyone can take part in. Luigi also teaches us how to make soaps at home and then he sells/uses them at the eco-BnB “Al Numero Zero”.
I also appreciated the fact that the whole structure uses water thanks to the cisterns that collect rainwater that is filtered and used for cooking, washing, watering the animals, and watering the garden.
As well donkeys have returned to Lipari after 25 years of absence thanks to Luigi. Also, donkeys’ manure is used as a fertilizer for farming.
What did you love most about life on Lipari Island?
Definitely the view from the eco-BnB “Al Numero Zero”: the most beautiful of the whole island in my opinion. I loved the trails and walks, being surrounded by greenery and animals and the wonderful people we met. Actually working as a farmer is a privilege now reserved for a few.
Which green itineraries do you recommend not to miss to those who visit in general the Aeolian Islands?
- First of all, I recommend spending your stay “Al Numero Zero” by Luigi, an unmissable gem for those who have this kind of sensitivity. It is also a great location for smart working, the connection works great!
- The second tip, be guided by Carmelo, Flavia, and Pietro of Nesos, hiking guides prepared very well. They know the islands like the back of their hands. In fact, they will guide you through the paths, the views, and the most beautiful landscapes.
- Also, you can’t miss a day with Monica, a marine biologist who manages the Filicudi Wildlife Reserve. She’ll tell you about turtles, dolphins, sperm whales, and cetaceans.
- Besides always try to support local businesses that create incredible gems, such as the weaving workshop of Paola. She is a weaver on the most remote island: Alicudi.
What would you recommend to those who want to visit the Aeolian Islands in an eco-sustainable and responsible way?
Definitely, to take the time to visit all the islands. To stay at the eco-BnB “Al Numero Zero”, discover the different beaches, the trekking routes, the Pumice and Kaolin quarries, store in the historic stores and restaurants with local cuisine. Talk to local people and, if possible, use an electric bike to get around. Luigi, the owner of the eco-BnB, is testing a new Smartway e-bike that he will eventually make available in the future for the guests of the house.
Did you get the desire to travel? Start doing it responsibly and trying to reduce the impact on the planet, even with small gestures.
Cover image: Alice Pomiato.