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Lipari village on Lipari island has an eye-catching fortification on the coast. This was once the site of the Ancient Greek acropolis. The inhabitants of Lipari were converted to Christianity in the 3rd century CE. Christian churches have existed on Lipari since then. The first cathedral was built in the heart of the acropolis, probably over a Greek temple. That cathedral was destroyed in the 9th century CE by Arabs.
A Benedictine monastery was built on the site of the Ancient Greek acropolis. After the Norman conquest of Sicily, Benedictine monks were invited to the site on Lipari island to form a monastery in 1083.
While visiting the amazing archeological museum in the monastery, I also visited the cathedral. To the right of the cathedral one can pay to enter a Norman cloister. I hadn’t read about it in advance but having seen beautiful floor mosaics from the Norman invasion period I decided to go inside.
Until recently the cloister was covered in rubble but it has now been excavated. It is significant because it contains columns that were reused by the Normans. The columns were originally in early Roman houses.
As well as having interesting columns, the capitals on top of the columns are intricately carved with strange, fantastical creatures, birds pecking dates, and other interesting carvings.
I enjoyed visiting the tranquil cloister and I think it’s well worth the small entrance fee.