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Thursday, 29 March 2007

Aeolian Glamour

Stars are opting for Sicily’s exotic islands, lured by volcanic scenery, Moorish villas and citrus groves

The seven Aeolian Islands have a stark volcanic allure that make them a magnet for the beautiful people. There is a studied nonchalance about these islands, which feel both remote yet civilised. Arty sorts feel at home here, especially in pretty, oleander-bedecked Panarea, number one choice among Milanese fashionistas and young Italian hipsters.. This island is a delightfully decadent port of call for the yachties while still retaining a funky edge.

Neighbouring Filicudi has been in vogue since the 1960s and remains a sophisticated magnet for creative types, such as Italy’s influential designer Ettore Sottsass. Salina is the celebrity’s secret Aeolian island, an understated place, treasured for its traditional values. Picturesque yet private, the island was the setting for Il Postino, and is a favourite with Sean Connery, who loves the coffee and almond sorbets. Yet Salina has always had a blue-blooded image: once patronised by the Hapsburgs and Orleans dynasties, it was recently chosen as the scene of the 60th birthday celebrations for Albert, King of the Belgians.

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