Villas Sorrento Coast



Nerano, the village of fisherman and common folk with origins that have been lost over is almost certain that its name was derived from the Roman Emperor Tiberius Nerone, who spent most of his time at his residence on Capri. In one of his travels, he found himself at the Marina del Cantone in Nerano and, being taken by its beauty, decided he should build another villa there in addition to the one he already had on the island. So from the name Nerone that was derived from the Latin form "Neronianum" and now today is known as Nerano. The Greeks, before the Romans, knew this land and had called it Promontorium Minervae, known from the presence of the temple dedicated to the goddess. The town inhabitants were concentrated around the church of S.S.Salvatore in the valley of Mount S.Constanzo. The surrounding hills are dotted with occasional farm houses among the olives and rocks and modern villas that overlook the Marina del Cantone. This bathing area, of notable importance on the Amalfi-Sorrentine coast is well known beyond national borders for the beauty of its depths, for the underwater grottos and for the local restaurants by the sea. The Cantone, accessible by car, is a great departure point to leave from to go to the other enchanting little beaches of Crapolla, Recommone, Leranto, the islets of Li Galli, and the neighboring Isca e Vetara, all reachable with all the local fishing boats.
The beach at the Marina del Cantone is formed from rather larger, smooth and rounded stones. It is overlooked by a tower built in 1567 following the repeated assaults (1390 and 1558) of the armed Turks that landed there to ransack the coastal villages. The Cantone is rich with ancient testimonials that report very flourishing traffic kept here by the Roman colonizers, who had built many villas like the ruins of Isca.



.Punta Campanella: it is a cape that hangs over the blue sea and foaming mouths of Capri. Among the most prestigious places of the territory, it is accessible by sea or by the unique and ancient Greco-Roman path called Minerva that has conserved the old route. Going along the path the landscape passes from the expanse of olives and green, barren ridges of rock, smelling of rosemary and ginestre bushes. Suddenly the cobalt sea of the Gulf of Naples seems to stretch itself out as it reaches the end and finally dives into the waters of the Gulf of Salerno. What splendid views, fresh air, and variety of landscapes! The southern territory of the Sorrentine peninsula and the island of Capri are separated by a narrow strip of sea called the Small Mouth. The name, Punta Campanella, derives from the traditional warnings, that were  imminent of the arrival of the Saracrens ships with the sounds of the bell from the Minerva Tower built by Roberto D'Angiò in 1335. The most fantastic legend tells that the name comes from the bell that the Saracens had taken from the church of S.Antonino of Sorrento and thrown in the sea, close of the place, in order to speed up the operation, of the Punta. From that time, on February 14th of every year, the festival of S. Antonino, tells that the bell rings during the festival from the depths of the sea. In the ages long ago it was the sacred place of the sirens and later of Athena for the Greeks and Minerva for the Romans. It is possible that the exact temple dedicated to the sirens was later dedicated to the two goddesses and the road that led to it was called Via Minerva and even today it is still possible to see the stone pavement used by the Romans. The hill above Punta Campanella is Mount San Costanzo (497 meters) on which you can find the Bizentine hermitage to where, every year in spring, a procession carries the statue of San Costanzo, the patron saint of the neighboring town of Termini. In 1997 it was constituted the Marine Reserve of Punta Campanella, that hug the coastal areas of Positano, Massa Lubrense, Sorrento, Piano di Sorrento and Vico Equense for a total of 40 km of coast.

. The Basin of Leranto: between Punta Campanella and the Marina of Cantone extends the little Gulf, the Basin of Jeranto; it is a small gulf of fabulously beautiful stones and inlets that have bizarre and various forms. From the little square of Nerano, on the street that takes you to the Marina del Cantone, to the right there is a small path "Via Jeranto", indicated by a small brown sign, that brings you to the homonymous basin. The path goes along three terraces of olive trees and Mediterranean vegetation in which, in the spring, you can find the Biacchi (little scaled reptiles). Via Jeranto is about 1km long and passes by Villa Rosa, where the writer Norman Douglas stayed, and then passes by a votive chapel snuggled in between the rocks. Along the first part of the path you can enjoy the view of the Marina del Cantone and in the back , in the blue ocean, the islet of Vetara and Li Galli. Going down, between stone walls, you get to the Spirit Ridge from where you can admire Capri with its peaks, Punta Campanella and the Gulf of Salerno until Punta Licosa and the Amalfi Coast. You come to a crossroads, and going down to the right, you will find the little beach of Jeranto (you can also go down to the left crossing the property F.A.I. - free access). The descent to the sea goes along the old stairs used to access the old cave. But to the left starts another dirt path that brings you to the tower of Mount Alto.
. The Galli islands: : they are an archipelago of the three islets called Gallo Lungo, Rotonda and Castelletto. According to the legend told by Omero, in these exact waters the sirens attempted to attract Ulysses into their snare. The identification of the Sirens with the islands comes from figurative Greek art. The three islands, when seen from afar, have always been a point of reference for sailors. But as you move closer the game of currents and whirlpools push their boats into the rocks. These deadly shipwrecks had to be the victims of the Siren's fatal songs, from which Ulysses managed to defend himself and because of the warning from the witch Circe. Another legend tells that the three Sirens came overwhelmed by waves and died in the attempt to capture Ulysses. By the end of 1131 the islands were called Guallo, or Gallo. In 1225 Federico II gave the islands as gifts to the Monastery of Positano, naming them by the names of the  three sirens quae, dictur gallus, today "Li Galli". The longest one is the largest of the three and the only one to be inhabited since the roman times. In the next few centuries, the ruins were used by the Saracens who exploited the advantageous position of the islands to make their invasions on the land. In 1924 the American choreographer, of  Russian origins, Leonide Massine constructed a magnificent villa over the ruins, that the architect Le Corbusier embellished even more. One of the last owners of the island was the Russian ballet dancer Rudolf Nureyev that bought it for 3 billion 43 million lire. Among the various celebrity names that have stayed in this paradise there are Greta Garbo, the princess Margharet of England, Roberto Rossellini, Ingrid Bergman, Anna Magnani, Sofia Loren, Jacqueline Kennedy, Onassis, Franco Zeffirelli and many more.

. The Isca: is the name of the little island, that in remote times, was said to be a siren. Seen from afar, the island takes the form of a whale's fin and is located 100 meters between Crapolla and Recomone in the direction of Nerano. It was inhabited in the ' old times' as revealed by the presences of a villa of great archeological interest. It is a marine villa with two landings of which one lead to the "Domus" (house) and the other to the "Xystus" (garden). On its eastern and western sides Roman construction ruins, pieces of vases, and stairs carved into the rock that lead to the seas were all found. One more illustrious inhabitant of the island was the Neapolitan playwriter Eduardo De Filippo.

. The Vetara: its name was taken from the ancient Vivara, it is the fifth rock attributed to the sirens. Not many ruins from the Roman period were found here. Now it is uninhabited and a natural state reserve, a welcoming home to gulls and a species of lizard that by its color, seems close to the species that lives on the peaks of the island of Capri.


Picures from NERANO
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