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Aeolian Architecture

Characteristics of Aeolian architecture.

Aeolian houses are essential and functional places to live. The basic unit is a modular cube and a variable number of cubes can be vertically or horizontally combined.
The result is a compact structure with very few windows. Houses are generally built by using the local construction materials: blocks of solid lava-stone for the foundations, pumice stone for outer walls, tuff for terrace paving.

Older houses are generally characterised by a vertical development, which limited outside life due to defence reasons.
The terrace roof, called "àstrico", is built to harvest rainwater. A "loggia", supported by a porch of arches, is instead part of the upper floor.

Modern houses are characterised by a horizontal development. Most of the rooms overlook the "loggia" or the terrace, the so called "bagghiu", which is surrounded by cylindrical columns (pulèra) rising almost up to the roof. A cover made of canes or grape-vines to protect the terrace from the sun during the day and from humidity during the evening is placed on top of the "pulèra".

The terrace is also surrounded by a stone seat (bisola). In the "bagghiu" you can generally find the cistern, the wood stove and the stone washing-trough.

The architectural style changed when the birth and economic expansion (at the end of the XVIII century) of a middle class promoted more complex structures and colours.

A second floor and more rooms were added: windows and balconies were opened on the external walls and baroque pinnacles and decorations were placed on the roof.