«Oh Sirmione, jem of all the islands and the peninsulae that are protected by the double Neptune, I’m so happy and so glad when I see You!». A tour of the most beautiful peninsulae and cliffs of Italy could not start without Catullo’s lines who chose Sirmione as the place of his heart. These stretches of land, suspended between the mainland and the water aren’t neither islands nor the mainland, they are really magic and charming: let’s visit a few of them together starting with Sirmione (Brescia), one of the most famous villages of Italy. To get there you must go through a gate dating back to the 14th century and a draw bridge that leads to the impressive Scaligera Fortress. It dates back to the 13th century, it can be visited and from the top of the main tower you can enjoy an amazing view. After the visit you can stroll around the narow streets spread with tourists, bars and tiny shops before heading to the main destination: the Catullo’s caves. It’s an archaeological area that keeps the findings of an ancient Roman villa set on the peninsula’s edge: it’s a wonderful place that deserves a visit even if you aren’t fond of archaeological excavations. By the way: this villa didn’t belong to the poet but to some rich Imperial families and the caves are the ancient collapsed rooms covered in vegetation that looked like natural caves.
Let’s move to Liguria now where on the edge of a narrow stretch of land that enters the sea you can see the lighthouse of Portofino (Genoa). This is a really charming place: if you want to get there you must leave the trendy little square of the famous village and follow the dirctions to the Brown castle (dating back to the 16th century, you can visit it), pass by it and continue along a path for around ten minutes. When you arrive at your destination you can stop at the bar on the lighthouse’s terrace (the lighthouse isn’t working anymore) to enjoy a breathless view from the Tigullio Gulf to Genoa and beyond. If you are very lucky you can also see the dolphins: a show within the show.
Let’s head towards Tuscany now where the Argentario is waiting for us, it was an island in the ancient time then it was united with the mainland through long stretches of sand called “tomboli” that include the Orbetello’s lagoon. The whole promontory deserves to be explored through its tracks that lead to beautiful coves and natural reserves like the dune of Feniglia which is almost seven kilometres long. Along the pine trees tracks that runs parallel to the beach you’ll find a pillar in memory of Caravaggio who was found injured along this track while he ws escaping from Malta and he died afterwards in the hospital of Porto Ercole, an old fishermen’s village and a tourist attrraction nowadays. If you decide to move towards Porto Santo Stefano, we suggest you a turnoff towards the cove of Mar Morto (the Dead Sea) since it’s a really charming area: be careful since the road is partially dirt. If you continue to get around this area you’ll reach Porto Santo Stefano, a former fishermen’s village too and a popular tourist destination nowadays: enjoy the view from one of the terraces of the Spanish Fortress dating back to the 18th century and visit the museum dedicated to the sea culture.
Your next stop is Southern between the provinces of Naples and Salerno in the peninsula of Sorrento: these beautiful places are so famous that it sounds unecessary to describe them. Sorrento is the most famous place along the coastline of Sorrento while Positano, Amalfi, Ravello and Vietri are set along the coastline of Amalfi: they are such amazing villages and landscapes to belong to the Unesco heritage. We would like to dedicate the last lines of our roundup to a less famous place: the peninsula of Maddalena in Syracuse. It’s the area around the lighhouse of Capo Murro di Porco, a protected marine area since 2004: it’s covered in the Mediterranean vegetation, it’s surrounded by dark jagged cliffs that welcome the seagulls and are a shelter for many species of fish. It’s a perfect place to enjoy a little silence and hear the sound of the sea and all its heartbreaking charm.
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