Stromboli was the highlight of my Italy trip. The activity was incredible... one of my favorite volcanoes so far. It wasn´t possible to be bored for a second. At this time you had to go with a guide. Also took a boat trip to see the Sciara del Fuoco...really worth it!
The summit area was 'open' this year, albeit that the rules were you went with a guide, something I have never ever done before on a mountain! But it was a memorable experience and the more interesting for all the information and anecdotes from the guide. And I have always wanted to see an active volcano close up - and Stromboli didn't disappoint this year - as sun set we were witness to noisy displays of fireworks every 15 minutes.
We went back in 2008, but the crater was 'blocked' - no fireworks, just occasional puffs of ash - and the mountain was closed above 400m, due to risk of the eventual inevitable explosion, when the volcano cleared its throat and returned to normal activity.
Climbed twice, in 2000 and 2002. By my own. Impressive place.
I climbed it with my wife and a Baraka group as the third volcanoe in a Southern Italian volcanoe trip. We departed at about 5 pm. (because of the heat) and got to the edge of the crater at about 8 pm. We headed down at about midnight. (At that time it was already very cold.)
In between we witnessed a stunning show of mother nature's strenth: thundering roars, shaking earth and red hot rocks thrown up the air every 15 minutes. It was amazing and unforgetable. (As far as I know it is no longer possible to get as close to the crater as back in 1999.)
We wanted to climb Stromboli on our own, but police stopped us on the way. So we went to Sciara del Fuoco to see the explosions!
Cool! I have been doing a project about it in school, so I had to research loads of information,mainly on the computer! It took me ages, because I organized it into a powerpoint including diagrams. I find out my mark tomorrow! Thanks for the comments!