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We've long admired Jackie's sense of adventure and beautiful eye for capturing moments on film, so we were thrilled when she agreed to share her latest photographic journey to the Aeolian islands in our Journal. A feast for the senses, she recounts her experience...

"It’s the summer of 22’— I am living on Ortigia Island just off the southern coast of Sicily. Having already explored mainland Sicily a few years prior-I had set my sights on something more adventurous and off-the-grid. After researching destinations, I discovered the Aeolian Islands. A small chain of seven volcanic islands (some active, most dormant) just off the coast of northern Sicily.

The smallest and farthest removed Island Alicudi struck me the most. It was the hardest to access, with the least amount of infrastructure—which meant fewer tourists and a more local experience. With only 500 inhabitants, this tight knit community island was exactly what I was looking for.

On arrival, you see houses built into the wildly jagged, volcanic rock draped in bougainvillea, wild cacti, and overgrown greenery. Whatever you needed, it all happened at the port. There are two small markets, one bar, one restaurant, one hotel, no street lamps, no cars, and solely mules as the only means of transportation.

It was evening when the island felt alive. Locals would invite curious, hungry travelers into their homes for community-styled, home-cooked dinners. Each host offers something unique- whether it be freshly caught fish, all vegetarian, or even an intimate setting for two. As the sun sets, you hear only the chatter and sudden bursts of laughter of strangers getting together, dishes clanking, and now and then, a dog bark or a guitar strumming.

The second half of the trip was on the lush island of Salina- basing ourselves in the coastal village of Rinella. Here, a picturesque cove of pastel-hued houses contrasted with a black-stoned beach just at the base of the mountainside. Around the corner, a place called Pa. Pe. Ro’. serves some of the most delicious granitas I’ve tried in all of Sicily. Their specialty - a fresh ricotta granita mixed with sweet & salty candied capers.

The island of Salina is vast, rich, and fertile. There are a few incredible wineries, plenty of hidden swim nooks, and a handful of charming villages to discover. It’s essential to have a car or scooter to get around and explore the island as much as possible".