The island of Vulcano falls in the area of the Aeolian Islands; it covers about 21 square kilometers and is administered by the municipality of Lipari. The inhabitants were 715 in 2001 and are called vulcanari. In ancient times the island was called Therasia, then Hiera, because it is sacred to the god Vulcan; from here, finally, its current name. The Greek mythology on this island located the Forges of Hephaestus, god of fire and blacksmith who had to help the Cyclops. But it is the name that the Romans gave to the god, Vulcan, who was given to the island. And it is from here that the terms volcano and vulcanism derive. The island owes its existence to the fusion of some volcanoes, of which the largest, extinct, is the Vulcano della Fossa. The others are the Vulcanello (123 m) to the north; the southern Monte Aria (500 m), completely inactive, which forms a vast plateau consisting of lava, tufa and Holocene alluvial deposits and Mount Saraceno (481 m). The main volcano, to the west, seems to have formed after the extinction of the southern volcano; with very acid lava, it has created the mountain known as Vulcano della Fossa (or Gran Crater or Cono di Vulcano), 386 m high, with very steep slopes, with an extinct crater, called Forgia Vecchia, to the north. To the northwest there is a recent obsidian casting of 1771, called the Pietre Cotte.
The active crater is located somewhat moved to the northwest.
Although the last eruption took place in 1888 – 1890, the volcano has never ceased to prove its vitality and even today we observe different phenomena: fumaroles, steam jets both on the ridge and submarines and the presence of sulfur mud from the appreciated therapeutic properties. To the north, many fumaroles continue to emit boric acid, ammonium chloride, sulfur, which feed an industrial complex for the production of sulfur.
Given the toxicity of the gases emitted by the fumaroles, it is possible to approach them only if accompanied by authorized guides.