The name of the island of Stromboli comes from the term Strongyle which means "round, rotund". The volcanic activity on the island was known as far back as ancient times and according to legend, the palace of the god Aeolus was located here. The colors of some parts of the island bring to mind images described by the poet Homer. Stromboli was once a colony of the island of Lipari, whose inhabitants lived there only for the sowing and harvesting period.
Obsidian is a recent igneous rock consisting essentially of vitreous matter. It is the black stone erupted from the volcano on the NE end of Lipari. In times gone by it was an important resource since it was the sharpest material one could possess next to glass and was therefore sought after.
Lipari exported obsidian in large quantities and its trade brought prosperity to the island.