Stromboli's perfectly cone-shaped volcano is quite dramatic. Its slopes cover the entire island, so that it seems to emerge directly from the sea. This is an active mountain, with gases often seen emerging from the summit. The last eruption took place in 2007, but some people still call this island home, residing in two villages that sit on the portion of the island that has not been blackened by past eruptions. Stromboli, no more than a speck of land in the Tyrrhenian Sea near Sicily, is special because it is one of the very few places where tourists can spend an extended period of time in the shadow of an active volcano. Ferries and express hydrofoils service Stromboli, and while people can view it from afar as part of a cruise, brave or adventurous tourists can land on the island and climb the slopes, which is best done with the assistance of a local guide. Scientists and local authorities monitor the volcano closely, and guides are aware of the ever-changing trail conditions and the chances of larger eruptions. Besides the volcano and the laid-back lifestyle of the quaint villages, Stromboli is attractive because of its wide-open black sand beaches.