Positano landscape

THE MOST BEAUTIFUL VILLAGES TO VISIT ALONG THE SORRENTO PENINSULA

THE BEST VILLAGES IN AND AROUND SORRENTO

POSITANO: ELITE, CHIC, COLORFUL

Positano, the vertical city, is located just 20 minutes from Sorrento. It is the first village you come across when traveling along the coastal SS 163. Perched overlooking the sea with its colorful houses, Positano is a delightful village you can explore on foot down steps and narrow streets. Perfect for visiting all year round for relaxation, shopping, food, and culture.

Exciting, lively, and colorful, Positano offers dreamy beaches, breathtaking views, luxury shopping, and stunning surroundings to explore.

Where can you go for a swim and get some sun, or maybe an aperitif? Certainly, the Spiaggia Grande (the main beach), stretching for 300 meters at the foot of the perched village. Or Fornillo, a more sheltered and secluded beach, protected as it was 500 years ago by watchtowers against pirates coming from the sea.

Positano is also beautiful from the sea. Grab one of the boat taxis that leaves from the Spiaggia Grande and explore the hidden bays and coves. Be sure to visit Cavone.

Finally, who can resist shopping? Positano is famous worldwide for its handmade leather sandals and colorful caftans, symbols of “Positano Fashion” since the ’60s. The history and culture of this picturesque village are kept in the Roman Archaeological Museum, a Roman site located beneath the Oratory of the Chiesa di SS. Maria Assunta.

Positano panorama

VICO EQUENSE: HISTORY AND EXCELLENT CUISINE

Just a stone’s throw from Sorrento, Vico Equense is the largest town along the Sorrento peninsula. It is considered one of the most beautiful destinations on the coast with its unique blend of the Lattari Mountains and the blue sea, overlooking one of the most breathtaking views in the world.

The landscape is postcard perfect. The historic town center is on a rocky ridge overlooking the sea, dominated by the rose-colored facade of the Chiesa di Santa Maria Annunziata.

Vico Equense is the perfect destination, especially for those who love the sea, traditions, history, culture, and excellent cuisine. And don’t forget that in the small village of Ticciano, the Michelin-star Chef Antonino Cannavacciuolo was born here.

So, what can you do for a day in Vico Equense? Begin by basking in the sun on the beaches of Marina di Aequa or Tordigliano, overlooking the famous islets of Li Galli (“The Sirenusas”), where, according to legend, the mermaids lived. Or you can enjoy the healing waters of the thermal baths in Scrajo, which were already well-known and appreciated by the Romans.

History buffs will want to visit the Antiquarium Silio Italico; located in the town hall, this museum has more than 200 artifacts from the ancient civilizations of this area – Greeks, Etruscans, Italics – which bear witness to an ancient settlement built here in the 7th century BC.

In the evening, Vico comes to life with its trendy bars and the exciting nightlife in Marina di Aequa.


RAVELLO: MUSIC, INFINITY AND PEACE

This village, declared by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, is in the province of Salerno, less than 40 km from Sorrento. It is one of the lesser-known towns along the coast (and, therefore, one of the most intriguing to explore).

In addition to the colorful handmade ceramics, Ravello is also known as the City of Music. For 65 years, it has hosted the Ravello Festival, an international classical music festival held each year in July. You just have to experience one of the concerts at dawn. Simply breathtaking, on the terrace of Villa Rufolo overlooking the silent sea.

But Ravello is also zealous and proud of its local traditions, as demonstrated by its Museo del Corallo and its religious and architectural heritage. Don’t miss a visit to Villa Rufolo, which even bewitched the musician Richard Wagner. Or to the Duomo of Ravello, one of the oldest former cathedrals in Italy as it dates back to 1086. Another must is a stop at the “Terrazza dell’Infinito” at Villa Cimbrone; a unique observation point 400 meters above sea level, where you can lose yourself while looking at the horizon, which seems to never end.


NERANO: THE BLUE AND THE PEACEFULNESS

Nerano is the paradise of the sea, of authentic cuisine, and of peacefulness. This quaint little village is located on the extreme tip of the coast and can be reached by boat or by car from Sorrento and Naples.

Its main beach, the bay of Nerano, is stony and overlooks transparent, fresh seawater ranging from turquoise to ultramarine blue. In addition to the full-service bathing facilities, you can also enjoy wide stretches of accessible beaches, perfect for relaxing and soaking in the splendid views.

Seaside restaurants make it possible to try the incredibly delicious spaghetti “alla Nerano” with zucchini, Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, and Monaco provolone cheese.

For the more adventurous, the Baia di Ieranto is worth a visit; starting from the town center, a 2 km path leads to a protected bay directly overlooking the Faraglioni of Capri.


SANT’AGATA SUI DUE GOLFI: SUSPENDED BETWEEN THE SEA AND MOUNTAINS

To experience the silence and mountainous soul of the Sorrento Coast, you should visit the village of S. Agata sui Due Golfi. The village gets its name from the fact that it overlooks the gulfs of Salerno and Naples. From the Monastero del Deserto, at almost 400 mt above sea level, you can admire the magnificent view of the Sorrento peninsula, Vesuvius, the Flegree Islands – Ischia and Procida – as well as Capri.

The center of the village is dominated by the Chiesa di Santa Maria delle Grazie. Inside the church, there is an altar dating back to 1600 with mother-of-pearl and marble inlays.

Sant’Agata sui Due Golfi also merits a visit for its exquisite cuisine. Cheese lovers can visit one of the local dairies to taste the typical products from the Monti Lattari, which get their name from this region’s long and important dairy tradition.


View of Procida from above

A GUIDE TO PROCIDA: WHAT TO SEE IN ONE DAY

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View of Procida from above

Procida, the Italian Capital of Culture 2022

It is the smallest island in the Gulf of Naples and probably the least known in comparison to the most popular tourist destinations of Ischia and Capri. Procida is an authentic pearl of the Campania archipelago, an enchanting place which carefully safeguards its own identity and traditions, away from the classic itineraries and can easily be seen on foot in just one day.

But not only that, Procida is also the Italian Capital of Culture 2022, the first island to win this coveted honor.

Thanks to its 44 cultural projects, 330 days of programming, 240 artists and 40 original works of art, throughout 2022 Procida will be the perfect place to surround yourself with its natural beauty and rediscover the age-old traditions of a community that is itself part of the island’s cultural heritage.

 

The Island of a Thousand Colors

Easily to reach by ferry from Sorrento (but only in summer) and Naples, Procida will captivate you from the very first moment you step into the port of Marina Grande. All of the small colorful houses overlooking the crystal clear sea will give you the impression of being inside an authentic outdoor painting. Welcomed by the thousands of enveloping colors, you’ll want to explore the island and get lost amongst the numerous narrow alleys that adorn this beautiful little corner of paradise.

The beating heart of Procida, Marina Grande is the shopping and tourist center. Full of cafés and restaurants, you can enjoy the typical local cuisine as well as go shopping along the most famous Via Roma.

 

Terra Murata and Palazzo D’Avalos

Along original passageways and alleys with a magnificent view overlooking the sea, you can walk to Terra Murata, an ancient medieval village encircled by walls built in the 16th century to protect the population from being attacked by the sea. Here is the historic center of Procida. With a short walk uphill, you can reach the Abbazia di San Michele Arcangelo and the Palazzo D’Avalos (an imposing structure visible from the mainland and famous because it was a prison until 1988).

 

Corricella: the Fishermen’s Village

Your daily visit must include a tour of the island’s oldest fishing village, Marina della Corricella. It is famous for being the film set of Massimo Troisi’s “Il Postino.”

Overlooking the blue sea of the enchanting Gulf of Naples, the village will offer you a relaxing stroll. You’ll enjoy the famous fishermen’s cottages with their pastel colors and “Vefi” or unique balconies covered with Arabic arches.

If you love the peace and quiet, as well as the scents of the sea, this is the perfect corner of the island for you. And don’t forget to stop for a fresh-fish dinner at one of the few restaurants in the area. You’ve got to do this!

 

Beaches Not to Be Missed

We have to mention the wonderful beaches of Procida with their fine sand, made famous by the iconic 1999 film “The Talented Mr. Ripley” starring Matt Damon and Jude Law. After all, Procida, first of all, is the sea.

The island has many beaches, almost all accessible, small bays and coves perfect for exploring the area.

Among the most famous on the west side is the famous Pozzo Vecchio beach with its black volcanic sand and the beaches of Ciraccio and Chiaiolella. The latter is the largest and busiest of Procida, ideal for families with children and those who want to enjoy a boat ride to explore coves and caves visible only from the sea. But most of all, it is the best place for a swim under the warm colors of one of the most spectacular sunsets on the whole island.


Young girl eats overlooking the Gulf of Sorrento

SORRENTO AND THE SORRENTO PENINSULA - WHAT SHOULD YOU EAT? WHAT ARE THE TYPICAL DISHES?

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Young girl eats overlooking the Gulf of Sorrento

What’s good to eat in Sorrento and along the Sorrento Peninsula?

Flavors from the sea and land, unique traditions, the best of Mediterranean cuisine, and world-famous dishes. We are talking about the Cuisine of Sorrento and its surroundings, fragrant, tasty, but also delicate and robust. This is because the strip of coast of the Sorrento peninsula is nestled between the Lattari Mountains, where the delicious Fiordilatte and Provolone del Monaco DOP cheeses are made. And the sea, offering fish, shellfish and seafood prepared and served in thousands of different ways.

t is difficult to single out just one dish as the “star” of the Sorrentine cuisine. This is a territory of big flavors and talents, as demonstrated by the pastry art of Sal De Riso and by the fame of the star Chef Antonino Cannavacciuolo, who was born right here, in the charming Ticciano, a small village of Vico Equense, only 7 km from Sorrento.

 

Anchovies, Squid, Cuttlefish, Octopus and Seafood – Freshness at the Table

Pezzogna all’acqua pazza (typical white fish with tomato, garlic, parsley and white wine), impepata di cozze (peppered mussels), and seppioline ripiene (stuffed cuttlefish) are three typical recipes, just to mention a few. But the cuisine of Sorrento is a real celebration of seafood, from appetizers to first and second courses, with fresh ingredients and a hint of something special, the fragrant Sorrento lemons, tomatoes, and DOP olive oil.

The fish, arriving fresh every day, is served grilled, marinated, or fried. Succulent shellfish as a first course with spaghetti, or as a delicious sfizio, sautéed with garlic, oil, parsley and a generous handful of hot pepper.

Octopus is the star of Sorrentine cuisine. In particular polpetti affogati, small octopuses simmered for two hours in an earthenware pot with tomatoes then served with chopped parsley still steaming.

Another delicious dish: local cod, eaten poached with a bit of lemon juice, salt and fresh parsley. It is of superior quality compared to Atlantic cod because it is completely fat-free.

 

Meaty goodness

The inland areas of Sorrento and neighboring towns are famous for pork. Try the sausages with a side dish of friarielli, the slightly bitter broccoli typical of the Campania plain, and the starters made with local cured meats. Don’t forget to try the grilled fillet and goat meat.

 

Local fresh fruits and vegetables and high-quality specialties

The prince of Sorrento cuisine is the Sorrento tomato: cultivated throughout the region, it is large and round, with a very delicate flavor. Together with fiordilatte cheese from Agerola (similar to fresh mozzarella) and basil, it is the famous Caprese salad.

The fertile soil, mild climate and terraced cultivations also offer flavorful eggplants, peppers, and zucchini. One of the most famous territorial first courses is creamy Spaghetti con le Zucchine with shaved caciocavallo cheese.

And what about the Sorrento walnuts, with their crisp white nut and thin skin? They are a real delicacy. Try them in Nocino, a typical liqueur, or Spaghetti con le Noci with garlic and anchovies.

The ever-present ingredient in Sorrento dishes is DOP olive oil from Sorrento. Fruity, with greenish reflections, this oil is made from olives harvested by hand in the olive groves dotting the Sorrento peninsula.

In the end, the very famous and fragrant Sorrento lemons, the true symbol of this beautiful land. Appeciated all over the world, they are large and juicy, and in addition to adding personality to each dish, they are also eaten here as a salad with olive oil and salt.

 

Homemade pasta

In Sorrento and its surroundings, pasta is homemade. Osterias, restaurants and typical eateries offer many types of homemade pasta. The most famous is Le Lagane, wide strips of pasta served with a chickpea purée, and of course, Gnocchi alla Sorrentina. So delicious with tomato sauce, grated parmesan cheese and mozzarella cheese, and then baked in the oven and garnished with fresh basil.

 

Provolone del Monaco DOP and fresh Fiordilatte

Agerola cows, native to these areas and at risk of extinction, are today a protected breed thanks to the exceptional quality of their milk. This delicious milk has been used for centuries to prepare Provolone del Monaco, a cheese used to enrich all recipes and enjoyed on grilled bread, and Fiordilatte, often mistakenly confused with buffalo mozzarella.

Fiordilatte comes from raw cow’s milk from the Agerola breed of cows and must be made within a maximum of 16 hours after milking. It has a fresh and delicate taste and is the ingredient of Pizza Margherita. It can be eaten by itself, either braided or in small balls, or cooked in delicious dishes such as Fiordilatte in Carrozza, fried with egg and bread, or as a Caprese.

 

Desserts: from the Delizie al Limone to the Babà

Perhaps desserts are among the most famous typical products of Sorrento and its surroundings. The Delizia al Limone, the Cannoli alla Sorrentina and the Melanzane di Cioccolato come from this area. As well as the confectionery tradition from the convents which left sweet testimonies such as the paste reali.

But that’s not all. Here you can try a delicious Torta Caprese made with almonds and chocolate, the Baba often served with Limoncello cream, the Pastiera, and even Sfogliatelle, Frolle e Lisce and the Cannoli.

 

Liqueurs and wines: DOC and other varieties

At the end of the meal, how about a Limoncello, Meloncello, Liquore al Cioccolato, Liquore al Pistacchio or another homemade liqueur? And we can’t forget about the wines! Sorrento and its peninsula are proud of their ancient roots. Wines were already being made here in Roman times. Over the centuries, the wine tradition of this region has evolved into quality wines, bearing the name Penisola Sorrentina DOC.

Be sure to try a sparkling red wine (Piedirosso, Aglianico), and the so-called Vino di sabato or Saturday’s wine. This is a full-bodied and native wine coming from the farms and vineyards around Vico Equense. It is mainly made according to traditional techniques. As for white wines, perfect for fish dishes are Episcopio di Ravello and Tramonti di Apicella, very fresh and delicate.


SORRENTO LEMONS - CHARACTERISTICS, HISTORY AND BENEFITS

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Sorrento lemons, Campania’s lemony gold

Sorrento lemons are the symbol of the Campania region and are P.G.I. (Protected Geographical Indication) certified.

Lemons are one of the most iconic symbols of the Campania region and the Amalfi Coast. Sorrento lemons, in particular, are P.G.I. (Protected Geographical Indication) certified. This particular citrus fruit symbolizes a local ecotype of the Citrus Limon species (common lemon), also known as Limone di Massa or “Massese”, or as Ovale di Sorrento.

But what are the characteristics and unique qualities of Sorrento lemons? And what are the beneficial properties of this extraordinary citrus fruit?

Lemons of Sorrento PGI, what are the peculiarities?

Sorrento Lemons are a medium to large oval-shaped citrus fruit. The peel is quite thick and has a citrine yellow hue. The Sorrento lemon’s exterior is one of the peculiarities of this incredible kind of citrus fruit; the peel is in fact rich in essential oils, making it extremely fragrant. The pulp is very juicy, and the juice contains a high level of acidity as well as vitamin C and mineral salts. Sorrento lemons belong to the “femminello” family, i.e. they are particularly fertile lemons, and differ from other citrus varieties of the Amalfi Coast both for their organoleptic properties and above all for the way they are grown.

Sorrento lemons are native to the Sorrento Peninsula, from Vico Equense to Massa Lubrense and the island of Capri and Anacapri. In particular, the Protected Geographical Indication label applies only to Sorrento lemons grown in Massa Lubrense, Meta, Piano di Sorrento, Sant’Agnello, Sorrento and Vico Equense, as well as Capri and Anacapri on the island. This area is characterized by green slopes stretching out to the sea, where reed structures are built, called “paglierelle”, which are supported by wooden poles; in fact, this is the technique used to grow Sorrento Femminello lemons. This process, while protecting the plants from the elements, allows the fruit to slowly ripen as the organoleptic properties improve. This gives the lemons their distinctive GIP quality, whereas lemon groves have become territorial symbols and are known as the “pergolato sorrentino” or arbor.

Sorrento Lemons: historical facts and benefits

Sorrento lemons can be traced back centuries; in fact, their presence in the Sorrento area has been confirmed by historical documents dating back to the 1500s, while their genetic predecessors to the Romans. Numerous paintings and mosaics found during the excavations of Pompeii and Herculaneum testify to the presence of lemons very similar to the present-day “massesi” and “ovali sorrentini”. This implies that Latin ancestors were already using these fragrant and succulent citrus fruit at their own tables. However, the most significant sources regarding the Sorrento lemons date back to the Renaissance even if it was not until the 1600s when it became evident the lemons were cultivated in this particular manner, as demonstrated in the acts of the local Jesuit Fathers.

As for their benefits, one of its peculiarities is that they contain vitamin C. This is essential for the absorption of iron contained in green leafy vegetables and legumes. The peel has considerable amounts of vitamin C as well as being rich in fiber and calcium. The peel also contains limonene, a molecule from which the distinctive citrus fragrance is dependent and which is the principal component in lemon essential oil. The intense yellow color, is linked to the presence of beta-carotene, another beneficial element found in lemons. This is a precursor to vitamin A, which is essential for eyesight and for cell growth and healing processes, as well as having excellent antioxidant qualities.


VALLONE DEI MULINI: HISTORY & NEWS

Discover Vallone Dei Mulini, The Abandoned Place Everybody Takes A Picture Of.

Abandoned Vallone Dei Mulini Became a Real Web Star Thanks To Its Unique Characteristics.

Vallone dei Mulini is a valley in the area of Sorrento and Amalfi. This valley is an abandoned place everybody takes pictures of. However, this spot is a risky one because of its continuous rockfalls.  Placed behind Piazza Tasso, Vallone has dominated the city center for centuries. But what is the history of this evocative natural landscape? Why did it make headlines?

Vallone Dei Mulini’s Origins

If you look at it from above, the valley seems a deep grove in the mountain. This grove originated almost 35,000 years ago, in the aftermath of the first great volcanic eruption that was a jolt to Campania.

This valley is part of a system of five valleys, which crossed the Sorrento Peninsula in ancient times and marked the cities borders. Besides, the Vallone Dei Mulini was originally connected to Marina Piccola and the Port. The valley represented an important meeting point for locals, especially for farmers and fishers. 

An old windmill gives its name to the valley, where a sawmill also existed. The sawmill, which local waters fueled, supplied local artisans with wood for their handicrafts, which were usually built according to the rules of Tarsia Sorrentina.

In the valley, a public wash-house was also present, where local women did their laundry.

In 1866, the municipality built Piazza Tasso, which cut out the Vallone Dei Mulini from city life and isolated it from the rest of the world. The City Council also set up a system of channels that direct the waters close to Marina Piccola.

Why Is the Valley This Famous?

Despite this is not one of the most popular sites, the American website BuzzFeed discovered the beauty of the Valley and later included in the list of the thirty most fascinating abandoned places on the planet.

Today, the only way to access the Vallone is the small gate you can spot from the road that connects Piazza Sant’Antonio with the port. However, wheater conditions do not allow men to live in Vallone anymore. The humidity has indeed reached 80% as a constant value. Yet, this microclimate has favored the development of a rich and wild vegetation, among which a rare example of fern. 


SORRENTO MARQUETRY

Sorrento Marquetry: Wood Craftsmen’s Art

Local Wood Craftsmen in Sorrento Are Famous Worldwide Because They Produce Wonderful Handicraft, also known as Sorrento Marquetry.

Sorrento’s marquetry (Tarsia Sorrentina or Tarsia di Sorrento) is an ancient art. Local craftsmen have always engaged in this particular woodworking. This kind of work is as meticulous as complex. The result? High-quality objects and pieces of furniture.  But what are the origins of tarsia sorrentina and the techniques used to produce such kind of art?

History of Tarsia di Sorrento 

Tarsia Sorrentina’s first appearance in history dates back to a period between the sixth and seventh centuries. At the time, people could find this art in Benedictine monasteries.

Later, we find examples of tarsia in the Reinassance and during the 19th century, when Tarsia gained its momentum. Indeed, Tarsia spread beyond national boundaries.

Why did the 19th century saw the tarsia sorrentina flourish? 

Because this was the period of the Gran Tour, when artists from all over the world visited Italy.

The Gulf of Sorrento was one of artists’ favorite destinations. Their presence not only raised the demand for handicrafts but also influenced and inspired local artisans. Tarsia Lignea Sorrentina became a very appreciated and well-known artistic tradition all over Europe. 

What are the characteristics of Sorrento Marquetry?

As its name suggests, Sorrento Marquetry was born as a kind of inlay. This art aims to produce images (i.e. landscapes, portraits, still-life, etc.) from wafer-thin pieces of wood, whose color and consistency differ. Craftsmen alternate these pieces of wood and foils of other materials, as ivory or nacre, over which they put metals or semiprecious stones.

Despite European cities entered in a strong competition with Tarsia Sorrentina, just like the city of Nice, Tarsia always distinguished itself because of two of its characteristics:

  • Techniques selection;
  • Choice of materials;

Indeed, the art of Tarsia di Sorrento requires the commitment of more than one professional figure. This is because local craftsmen rely on very rigorous techniques.
First and foremost, transformers model the pieces of wood, as in a patchwork, and they start to put them together to make drawings.  Then, a “ricacciatore” (an artist specialized in “editing” the drawings, ed.)  perfect the drawing. Then, a trimmer paints the handicraft, using some spray paint.


IERANTO BAY

Ieranto Bay: Take a Tour of the Sirens’ house 

People know Ieranto As The House of Sirens and one of the most spectacular and suggestive locations in the Gulf of Sorrento.

National and international tourists consider Sorrento as the “House of Sirens.” A legend says that the house of Ulysses and the Siren is on the extreme edge of the Sorrento peninsula, namely the Ieranto Bay

The name of the bay originates from the Greek “Ieros,” which means “sacred place.” What are the characteristics of Ieranto Bay, and what is worth seeing in this evocative territory?

The Bay’s Characteristics

Ieranto Bay stretches from Nerano, a maritime village, almost to Capri. 

According to Plinio il Vecchio, Ulysses met the Sirens right in Ieranto Bay, during his return-trip from Ithaca. 

This territory is well-known also because of its ancient agricultural tradition. Indigenous farmers cultivated citruses and olives, which resulted in the characteristic terraces of olive trees. 

Saracen piracy also characterized Ieranto Bay‘s history. The five-hundred-century towers of Montalto and Campanella testify the presence of pirates in the area. In a limestone cave nearby, we also find testimony to the presence of Saracens pirates. 

What to see in Ieranto Bay?

The National Trust for Italy (Fondo Ambiente Italiano- FAI) took over Ieranto Bay. FAI did so to avoid this spectacular territory being subject to speculations. 

Since then, FAI worked on preserving and restoring the original Mediterranean scrub, from euphorbia or juniper to rosemary. 

Ieranto Bay is today a Site of EU community interests and is part of the maritime reserve of Punta Campanella

Nature lovers find their ideal place in the Bay, above all because of its biodiversity. This place is also ideal for tourists who want to try several different activities, such as birdwatching, snorkeling, kayak, or botanical walks. 

Ieranto Bay offers several different activities, but the Nerano trail is a must-doThe trail is six kilometers long. It starts right beside Villa Rosa, Norman Douglas’s house in Sorrento. Once you are on the Nerano trail, you can suddenly enjoy a spectacular view of the Gulf and Capri’s Faraglioni

You later find FAI’s retreat. From there, you can easily reach Ieranto Beach through the miners’ steps. Miners built these steps at the beginning of the nineteen-hundred to reach faster the caves. By walking down those steps, you finally reach Ieranto beach. 

On small and evocative Ieranto Beach, you can spend your day. There, you can take a swim in the cleanest waters of the whole Peninsula, as the area is a protected one. 


PUNTA CAMPANELLA: WHAT TO SEE

Punta Campanella, The Wonders of The Marine Reserve 

Famous for its historical importance and natural beauty, Punta is a marine reserve located between the Sorrento and the Amalfi Coast. 

 

Punta Campanella is a stretch of land connecting the Sorrento and Amalfi Coast. The only way to reach this area is by walking across the Northern side of Promontorium Minerva. This location is part of the Athena Trail, a ring-shaped track connecting Punta Campanella to Mountain San Costanzo. 

 

The Characteristic Tower 

Punta Campanella‘s name derives from its Tower. On the orders of Roberto d’Angiò, Neapolitans built the Tower between 1334 and 1335. In 1556, Neapolitans rebuilt the tower once again after the Ottoman Empire destroyed it

People used to spot pirate enemies in the open sea from the Tower and raise the alarm. Specifically, they launched the alarm signal with a little bell, which they had placed on the top of the tower. In this way, the sound could spring to surrounding towers. Altogether, the towers formed a system that guarded and defended Sorrento’s mainland and coast. 

The grey-tuff Tower of Punta Campanella stands on a site where a temple dedicated to the goddess Athena (Minerva) sat. The Greeks founded the temple and handed it to the Romans. Several different archeological ruins confirm that once a temple was present in the area. The ruins are still visible all around the tower. For this reason, people used to dub the Tower as the Minerva Tower.

 

Punta Campanella is a legendary place 

Punta Campanella’s nature and marine reserve have almost remained the same, maintaining their legendary charm unchanged. Unfortunately, not too far from this area, significant urban settlements are present, like Naples or Castellammare di Stabia. 

According to Greek Mythology, Ulysses met the bewitching Sirens in this area, the one who caused the wreck of lots of his ships because of their magic singing. By walking across the left side of the Tower, we can reach the cave where the Sirens lived through a steep path.

Halfway through this path, visitors can find a rock with a rupestrian inscription in Osco. It dates back to the 2nd century B.C. and indicates the landing point for Minerva Temple. Such testimony demonstrates the presence of Italic people in an area always considered as exclusively populated by the Greeks. 

The Marine Park of Punta Campanella and its natural beauties are an extraordinary example of biodiversity. The protection of such treasures is one of the fundamental reasons for the birth of the reserve. Another reason is that the blue of the sea below Punta Campanella was home to several findings dating back to Greek-Roman times. 

Ideal for diving enthusiasts, if you want to do snorkeling, your experience starts from 25 meters depth down to 40 meters.

In the sea below Punta Campanella, several kinds of Gorgonians, different specimens of Anthias, spectacular tuna stocks, and amberjacks live. A floor of yellow sponges surrounds all of these creatures. 


THE ARCHIPELAGO OF LI GALLI

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The Archipelago of Li Galli, a paradise amidst nature and legend

Li Galli sits between Capri and Positano. It comprises three islands of amazing natural beauty. They have become essential parts of folklore.

Gallo Lungo, La Rotonda and La Castelluccia are the three islands of Li Galli. This latter is a tiny piece of land, located between Capri and Positano. It represents one of the most suggestive and spectacular venues in Campania and in the Mediterranean area. 

The Archipelago of Li Galli is also known as Le Sireneuse. According to an ancient legend, Sirens once lived in this area. They used to bewitch the sailors, who were dropping by, with their singing. But what do mythology and today’s men say about the Archipelago of Li Galli? 

The Archipelago Li Galli, a natural beauty between history and legend 

The Archipelago of Li Galli is just a few kilometers south of the Sorrento Peninsula. Its three small islands are part of the protected marine reserve of Punta Campanella

Gallo Lungo is the biggest of the three and the only one populated since the Classical era. Originally, Gallo Lungo accommodated a monastery. This latter became a prison during the Kingdom of Charles II of Naples, towards the end of the thirteenth century. The Aragonese Tower was later built during the fourteenth century to monitor the attack of pirates, and is still present today. 

Going back to the mythology linked to Li Galli, it looks as if in this territory Parthenope, Leucosia, and Ligeia, the three sirens of the Odyssey. Sailors, seduced by the singing of the three creatures, crashed against the rocks of the islets. According to mythology, Ulysses’ ship only and that of Argonauts were able to escape their sad fate. 

Therefore, the name Le Sireneuse derives from the myth of the three Sirens, as it is the name Li Galli: in Ancient Greece, these creatures were not half women half fish but rather half women half birds. The Archipelago of Li Galli, literally meaning “the roosters,” is dubbed after the juxtaposition between “feathered” sirens, and chickens. 

The Archipelago of Li Galli, a paradise for celebrities

Sirens were not the only famous inhabitants of the islands, which welcomed feudal and governing families, intellectuals, artists, and entrepreneurs. Indeed, the charm of Li Galli and its natural beauties enchanted lots of people throughout history. Among the celebrities who crazily fell in love with the Archipelago of Li Galli, choreographer Leonide Massine is one to remember.

In 1924, he decided to build a sumptuous Villa. This latter underwent restoration works in 1937, overseen by famous architect Le Corbusier, who also designed a panoramic viewpoint. The viewpoint welcomed a mosaic fountain at its center, which overlooks Capri’s Faraglioni and, on the opposite side, the various jutting terraces whose view is on Positano and the Amalfi Coast. 

When Massine died in 1979, Soviet dancer and choreographer Rudolf Nureyev inherited the Villa. Still, Li Galli welcomed lots of VIP part of the star system: from Anna Magnani to Franco Zeffirelli, Sofia Loren, Jacqueline Kennedy, and Aristotle Onassis.

The charm and beauty characterizing The Li Galli Archipelago received official recognition not only by the star system but also by the Ministry of Cultural Heritage, which in 1987 declared this area an “important area of archeological interest”.

Being the islands a private property, you can visit the Archipelago Li Galli by invitation only. Nonetheless, it is possible to admire the grandeur of the Archipelago from a boat tour, which leads you to discover clear water and of the suggestive landscape of the three islands. 

Photo by VesuvioLive


POMPEII ARCHAEOLOGICAL EXCAVATIONS

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Pompeii, an open-air museum

A destination for millions of tourists, a UNESCO heritage since 1997.

The Pompeii Escavations are one of the many treasures kept in the Campania countryside. They are a true testimony of Roman civilization thanks to the state of conservation of the town, which remained almost completely intact after the tragic, devastating and still considered the most violent eruption of Vesuvius in the 79 d.C.

Pompeii excavations are a really open-air museum that tells the story of a civilization at the time of the Romans who for centuries have dominated Italy and Europe and the rest of the globe.

In the middle of the 18th century, after the discovery of the remains of Herculaneum, the Borboniís Family ordered the excavations, which were carried out for more than a thousand years, with the intention of giving prestige to their homes by enriching the territory of treasures recovered from the past.

Once you have passed one of the gates that is close to what once were the gates of the city, the visitor will make a real time journey through the various streets of the city including the most important street of Abundance, on which there are the most famous houses and shops in the city, or to visit public monuments such as the theater or the amphitheater, not to mention the many domus or villas where you can still admire extraordinary frescoes such as the Villa dei Misteri or the home of the cool Lovers , which help us to understand the habits and the taste of the owners of ancient Roman civilization.

Not to mention the numerous archaeological finds where the visitor will have the opportunity to come across his exciting walk, such as amphorae or ancient objects of the time, or the castles of the inhabitants who unfortunately failed to save themselves from the tragic eruption that we can today admire today thanks to the archaeologist Giuseppe Fiorelli; like those of the two lovers, who still create their own interesting and magical legends.