Although this archipelago figures heavily in "The Odyssey" and takes its name from Aeolus, the Greek god of winds, methinks he takes his vacation in August, along with all of Italy and much of the rest of Western Europe. So we motored from Volcano to Lipari, the largest and most populated of the Aeolians. It's also the capital of the archipelago. Settled by peoples from the Near East in the fourth millennium B.C., Lipari flourished under Greek rule until 252 B.C., when the Romans took control. The Normans followed the Romans, founding the Benedictine church and building the Cathedral of San Bartolomeo on the site of the Roman city. Lipari prospered on the export of sulfur, alum and pumice, but like all good things, the prosperity ended. In 1544, the Tunisian pirate Barbarosa destroyed the civilization, and the island wasn't fit for habitation until the Spanish took control some years later. The town of Lipari as we know it today developed in the 18th century along Corso Vittorio Emanuele, a few blocks inland and up from the Castello and the Duomo.