The intense and age-old relationship between mankind and the land is evident in these islands in the most physical of the many cultural expressions of Aeolian communities - the architecture.
The rural areas, in particular, were conceived with respect for the natural shape of the landscape and in harmony with country life. As agriculture was for many years the islanders’ main resource, the south-facing beams of dwellings were supported by columns to hold the pergolas of climbing vines, shaded and full of fruit not only during the summer but also in winter, when the mild sun still warmed the terrace.
Other shrewd architectural touches still seen to this day include the habitual colours of the thick stone walls - ochre, blue, pink, pale yellow - or the hanging screens which adorn the fronts of the houses and are typical of Aeolian architecture.But the ancient culture of the islanders not only lives on in the walls that they built: it can also be found, for example, in the frequent and colourful religious festivals, with their costumed processions of the followers of the patron saints; in the many local pageants which bring communities together to re-enact events uniting sacred and pagan spirits to celebrate harvests, wine production, the owering of the capers in Salina, and even work. The farming and seafaring culture is immortalised in museums dotted throughout the islands. In particular, the tragic tale of emigration, which depopulated the Aeolian Islands between the 19th and 20th centuries, is evoked in Salina, where a dedicated museum, is housed in the village of Malfa.