From the volcanic isles to Oz, we sailed and kept in touchJune 08, 2016

As you were about to reach the spot that offered a spectacular panorama of Blue Mountains, you recalled something. It wasn't your Mum's gentle reminder (to be careful). It wasn't your mates. (The coursework was getting into them, and they couldn't handle the pressure. You were about to get nervous, but you don't want to admit it. So you planned this weekend getaway.) And it wasn't your room. (Your mother gave you a stern look, but you knew where every item was located.) It was a coming-of-age film about an Italian lass in Oz. (Was it 1996? You didn't bother to take note of its year of release. You weren't a huge fan of coming-of-age films, which might seemed strange at all. You were on your late teenage years.) It didn't bother you, as it could be more superficial. (It wasn't a soap opera, which you swore not to watch. Ever.) As you had a glimpse of the breathtaking peaks, you recalled Little Italy in Melbourne.

There would be an Italian population in the capital of Victoria, where cafe culture shouldn't be missed at all. It would be fine if you ended up in Starbucks, as long as you weren't a Melburnian (or a native of Victoria). You also recalled your Italian neighbours, who came from Florence. Your mother told them about her dream to see the balcony, where Juliet swooned by Romeo's promise of true love. But they didn't share her excitement. She was a bit disappointed, even thought that they were a strange lot. You thought It would be natural for people who lived in the same place for decades, if not a lifetime. It was your turn to tell them about your upcoming trip (to the Blue Mountains). You thought you hit a jackpot after you noticed their reaction. (Your mother thought they came to life, which was an exaggeration.) It turned out that they had distant relatives from the Aeolian Islands.

They told you about a part of the Italian populace who descended from the inhabitants of these isles, which were located above Sicily. This part of Italy was a volcanic region, most notable for Mount Etna. They mentioned Rick Riordan, but you didn't have a clue. (It was their turn to be disappointed. A slight one.) Their descendants would organise events during the winter, which would remind them of their Aeolian heritage. We should attend one, they urged us. They told us more information, none of which was less interesting than the history of Blue Mountains. These were the things you recalled:

A mighty civilisation once flourished in the Aeolian Islands. It could be a Greek colony, which might have relocated to this part of the Mediterranean after the downfall of Athens. (It marked the end of the Peloponnesian War). It won't be remote to think that a Roman settlement was established in these isles, and a Hellenistic culture was its outcome.

The older inhabitants knew Ingrid Bergman too well. The Swedish actress was forced into exile due to her relationship with Roberto Rossellini. (Your Mum recalled it too. You didn't understand her hatred towards Hedda Hopper, though.) They lived in separate houses during the filming of "Stromboli", which was the only way to keep their dignity. The movie wasn't one of Bergman's memorable works, but the place became a tourist attraction of sort.

Nanni Moretti may be an unusual fellow. You haven't seen "Caro diario", and you don't have any plans of looking for a DVD copy after they told you an unusual scene. A small group of tourists talking about soap opera on the summit of Stromboli. You thought you heard it wrong until you figured out that stranger things have happened.

You tried to recall the details of an upcoming event, where you would have a glimpse of the Aeolian culture. But you almost forgot to take pictures of the Blue Mountains.

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