Strombolicchio (or tiny Stromboli) is a sea stack of volcanic origin located about 2 km to the northeast of the island of Stromboli in the Tyrrhenian Sea, near Italy. Made of hard basalt rock resistant to erosion, the island rises 50 meters above the ocean and covers an area of approximately 300 square meters. Strombolicchio is a volcanic plug and part of the same geological platform as the island of Stromboli. It’s believed to have been created by the original volcano from which the island of Stromboli was built up. Eruptions at this site ceased approximately 200,000 years ago, and the volcanic activity moved about 3 km to the southwest.
In the 1920s, the tip of the island was blasted off to build a lighthouse, reducing the peak height of the island by some 10 to 12 meters. A staircase consisting of 200 steps leading to the lighthouse from the sea was also built. For some time, Strombolicchio became a popular tourist attraction. Then in 1991, the island was declared a nature reserve and tourists were prohibited from landing on the island. It is still possible to take a boat trip to the island, circle around and back.
Strombolicchio hosts some very rare species of flora and fauna. Bassia saxicola, for example, an endangered flower at risk of extinction, is otherwise present only in a few hundred specimens on the island of Capri. Podarcis raffonei, a rare lizard classified as at critical risk of extinction, is found only at three other locations, all of which are in the Aeolian Islands.
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