Positano, The Land Where Sirens Come to Life

Set at the heart of the Amalfi coastline and surrounded by pastel-coloured balconies that lean towards the sea, Positano is the perfect destination for Valentine’s Day.

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Legend has it that Ulysses, on his way back from the Troyan war, came across certain tiny islands where the Sirens lived, those mythical creatures half-women, half-bird who lured all sailors with their enchanting songs. Their voice was so sweet and pure that drew them into suicide, by jumping off the ship. But Homer’s Ulysses was so intrigued by their chant that he stuffed the ears of his crew with wax and bound himself to the mast, where he struggled with the luring call as they passed by.

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These islands, as tiny as beautiful, are set just in front of Positano, in the Amalfi Coast. The city stretches down along the cliff, shaping a perfect pastel-colored cascade which simply takes your breath away. The houses, lined up and down along the hill, all lean towards the Tyrennean Sea, where the Sirenuse islands stand in silence. Still today, some visitors claim to hear their tender voices as they sail among the islands.

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Arriving to Positano

The entrance to town is a curving road that boasts the best views of the cliff, the cobalt blue sea and the magnificent islands. After a pleasant ride on the local bus –which takes you all along the coast up to Salerno-, the hike begins at the highest part of the town, a superb street overlooking the beach, filled with little pottery and clothing shops, two of the local specialties you’ll not be able to resist. As you walk down, the path turns into a colorful sequence of fuchsia bougainvilleas and climbing plants that embrace the stone walls and arbors, creating a magical shelter for shoppers and passers-by.

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As the scent of limoncello, Amalfi’s quintessential specialty, wafts through the visitors, the sunlight breaks through the leaves and the sea breeze begins to show, drawing the visitors into the beach.

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The beach is a small jewel set in the middle of the mountains. On both sides, you can see the light-blue, pink and salmon-colored balconies leaning towards the cobalt blue sea, where some small boats await to be set free. On the left, a church dome rises among the rooftops.

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Enjoying the coast to the fullest

During the summer a series of patronal celebrations light up the magical village, such as “quartieri aperti”, a series of events held in August that depict each neighborhood through its dances and meals.  Not to miss, if visiting between may and October, is the series of concerts “Sounds of the gods”, that take place in Praiano, on the so-called “Path of the gods” which, boasting dramatic views of the rugged coastline, genuinely lives up to its name.  Nature seekers and hikers will love the path which leads up to Campanella Point, along the Lattari Mountains, one of the most impressive World Heritage Sites.

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Sailing among tiny islands, hiking up the mountains, sunbathing in one of the most exclusive beaches of the Mediterranean: everything seems possible in the Amalfi Coast, the land where magical creatures come to life, the same land that inspired legions of men to dive into the secrets of the ocean.

 

 

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