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We can however conclude that the Stromboli volcano, due to the existence of the two eruptive forms, places it amongst the most active volcanoes existing on the Earth today. Upon making a tour of the island and beginning from the vast beach of Scari, one sees the area of Punta Lena with white houses amongst huge palms which lend an Arabic aspect to the countryside. At the centre excels an old
factory surmounted by a high chimney: the only one which is outlined against the sky of the island.
Proceeding to the North, having passed Punta Lena, one skirts a beach set against a wall of tuff, after which opens up the central beach of the island, called Ficogrande, where steamers berth and which connect Stromboli with Sicily and Campania. This beach, as also that of Scari, up to the first World War accommodated large sailing vessels, which made the Stromboli merchant shipping the most important of the Aeolian Archipelago. Continuing the circular tour there stand out high rocky walls which advance decisively into the sea. Having passed this there opens up to the marvelled eye, the grandiose vision of the Sciara del Fuoco, steep and vast slope ploughed through by torrents of lava which flow towards the sea carrying, enormous incandescent blocks which roll into the valley amidst a dense whirl of vapour and squall of cinders. At the top of the Sciara, at a height of 700 metres, one observes the eruptive apparatus, which opens, deeply encased amongst gigantic dykes and large masses of volcanic conglomerate often wrapped in thick fog and harassed by the burning material launched from the eruptive openings.
The spectacle offered by the Sciara assumes particular interest during the night: the streams then seem to be fantastic torrents of fire whilst the darkness becomes dispersed by luminous bands of enflamed slag, the vivid flashes of which reflect sinisterly on the sea. At times the incandescent streams seem motionless and suspended in the air owing to a curtain of fog which usually envelops the slope. From time to time rivulets detach themselves from their course with the shape of enormous, frightful dragons of nibelungen memory. Other streams flowing with imperceptible motion, divide and branch out like rivers in their delta. Often the crater
launches incandescent masses of unmeasurable proportions which, at great heights, open fan-like letting fall, over a large area, a myriad of slag and luminous blocks similar to a rain of meteorites. In Piazza S. Pietro in Rome, the illuminated Bernini fountains give but a vague idea of such spectacle. The blocks of fire plummet onto the Sciara breaking into a thousand splinters like the sparks which fly from red-hot iron hammered on the anvil.