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5 reasons to visit the Amalfi coast

5 reasons to visit the Amalfi coast

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Historic Hideouts

This coastline offers rich pickings for anyone interested in classical sites – Pompeii is just 30 minutes from Naples – and there are many venues only open on a private hire basis that come steeped in local history. One such treasure is Castellammare di Stabia (Castle in the Sea), a medieval castle on the Sorrento Coast, 25 minutes from Naples. The moat might now be planted with olive trees but the prison room, complete with torture bench, is still very much in evidence.

Meanwhile, if you’re looking for a private island hideaway that’s steeped in intrigue, the former home of Russian ballerina, Rudolph Nuryev, should fit the bill. Built on the ruins of an ancient Roman site on the largest of the three Li Galli islands — Gallo Lunga — between Positano and Capri, it was here, according to Homer’s Odyssey, that Ulysses was captivated by the sirens. The majestic villa first belonged to American choreographer Leonide Massine and was later refashioned by Corbusier, before Nuryev bought the property in 1985 for more than 3 billion lire, embellishing the décor to resemble a Maharajah palace. Naturally, Nuryev built a helipad and today’s guests also have a motorboat and a 35 metre yacht on hand. Greta Garbot, Ingrid Bergman and Jacqueline Kennedy are just a few of the cultural icons who have stayed here.

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