(1729 - 1799)
Lazzaro Spallanzani, presbyter, Italian biologist and scholar, considered the scientific father of artificial fertilization and remembered for having refuted the theory of spontaneous generation, made numerous trips and among these to Constantinople (1785-86) and to the Two Sicilies (1788), during which he also made important observations in the geological field.
While in Sicily, in the Aeolian Islands Spallanzani tasted the Malvasia produced in Stromboli, of which he was said to have shipped home an entire barrel, sufficient as a personal supply for a whole year. About Malvasia he also wrote that "from a certain quality of grapes we get the famous Malvasia, a wine of a pure amber color, generous and at the same time sweet, which floods and comforts the mouth with a lovely fragrance, with a return of sweetness some time after having tasted it ".
He described the production in the smallest details, also pausing to tell how the “The inhabitants of Lipari who have left the city gather in small brigades in the houses near the vineyards and vacation there... in the arms of joy and innocent pleasures granted by the countryside".
He was also very interested in learning the method practiced by the islanders to make Malvasia, which, according to his words, is the following: "this grape should not be detached from the vine if it has not reached perfect maturity, which is known by its beautiful golden color, and by the sweet taste it takes. Once the bunches are harvested, at first they are freed from impurities or broken or damaged grapes, then they are left in the sun, lying on mats of marsh reeds for eight or ten days and even more, until they wither”.
Spallanzani Lazzaro, Viaggi alle Due Sicilie e in alcune parti dell'Appennino di Lazzaro Spallanzani. Milano, Società Tipografica de' Classici Italiani, 1825-1826.
Spallanzani Lazzaro, Destinazione Eolie. Prologo e saggio sul settecento liparitano di Giuseppe Iacolino. Ed. Centro Studi Lipari, 1993.
Raimondi Clara, Alle Eolie sulla scia di Ulisse. I diari dei grandi viaggiatori del passato. Ed. Centro Studi Lipari, 2008.