Friday, July 19, 2024

Island Market

Europe: The Siren Call of the Li Galli Islands

A spectacular trio of islands on Italy’s Amalfi Coast have long lured celebrities and elite guests with their beauty

(Image Courtesy of Vladi Private Islands)

Set along the southern coast of Italy, facing out into the blue Mediterranean waters where Sardinia rises to the west, the Amalfi Coast is a place of myths and mermaids; enchanting singing, claimed the ancient Greeks, would echo from the Coast’s caves and islands, luring bewitched mariners to a dark end.

The island of Capri was said to host the most seductive voices, together with a nearby trio of small islands, which were dubbed Le Sirenuse, also known as Li Galli. Three sirens haunted the islands; one played the flute, another the lyre and the last would sing. Once passing sailors heard their otherworldly music, it was impossible to resist; although in the Odyssey, Ulysses was said to have succeeded.

Today, the islands – Gallo Lungo, La Castelluccia, and La Rotonda – are a place where modern elegance meets a rich history. The beauty of Li Galli, perhaps Italy’s answer to Greece’s beloved Skorpios, has drawn in many modern sirens, in keeping with the ancient myths. Beautiful and glamorous women like Greta Garbo, Sophia Loren, Jacqueline Kennedy-Onassis, and Ingrid Bergman once graced the island as guests, romantic figures against Li Galli’s dreamy, cinematic backdrop.

The list of illustrious figures that enjoyed the islands is almost endless; ballet superstar Rudolf Nureyev owned the islands until his death in 1994, and famous Italian film directors also once visited or, in the case of the celebrated Franco Zeffirelli, owned the islands, which are simply the ideal surroundings for those with a strong appreciation for aesthetic harmony.

After extensive renovations by the current owner, the amenities offered by the property are virtually endless; the estate comprises a mail villa, chapel, gardens, saltwater pool and helipad. A 27-foot motor launch is at guests’ disposal for transportation to Positano, Capri. The Villa sleeps up to a maximum of 12 persons in the 6 deluxe suites and 1 additional person in a single bedroom, each bedroom having its own ensuite bathroom. Furnishings, including stunning antiques passed down through the various owners. The estate, first created in 1924, was added to in the 1930’s by no less a figure than Le Corbusier himself, and the original charm of the buildings has been preserved throughout the more modern renovations.

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