Believe it or not, this island in Italy is not an optical illusion or a product of digital manipulation. It actually boasts the unique shape of a dolphin! The island is situated between Capri and Positano and belongs to a group called the Sirenusas or the Gallos. Gallo Lungo is the largest among them and is easily recognizable due to its distinct shape. Once again, nature never fails to amaze us!
Not only is this island unique in its shape, but it also has a captivating history that adds to its charm. The name Sirenusas is derived from the Italian term sirene, which means sirens. It is told that mythological sirens once used the islands as their dwelling place. According to ancient Greek mythology, they had human heads and bird-like bodies, which led to the alternative name for the islands, the Gallos, from the Italian word galli meaning roosters.
The history of Gallo Lungo is quite interesting. Initially, it served as a monastery and later on as a prison, until a watchtower was constructed in the 13th century. The tower was utilized by Charles II, who was the king of Naples, to protect the Αmalfi Coast from pirate attacks. With the passing of time, the ownership of the island changed hands from one warden to another. However, when Italy became a unified country in the 19th century, it was taken over by Positano.
A fascinating story about an island continues beyond its use as a quarantine zone. After being sold by the town, the island became the property of Russian choreographer Leonide Massine in 1919. Massine had a vision of transforming the island into his private residence and even went on to construct a dance studio in the old watchtower. He also took the advice of his friend and famous architect Le Corbusier and built his own villa on the remains of Roman ruins.
After the passing of Massine, the island was bought by Rudolf Nureyev, a Russian dancer who was highly regarded as the top ballet performer of his time. He made headlines in 1961 when he managed to avoid the KGB and flee to the Western world, becoming the first prominent artist to do so. As a result, Nureyev caused quite a stir, and he later joined the Royal Ballet in London and became the director of the Paris Opera Ballet.
From 1988 until his passing in 1993, Nureyev resided on Gallo Lungo island. During this time, he undertook major renovations to the villa’s decor to reflect his personal preferences and worked hard to improve the water supply and cultivate the gardens. After his death, hotel developer Giovanni Russo purchased the island in 1996, making it his own private residence and a rental property for guests who can enjoy the services of seven staff members. If you want to visit this island with its unique dolphin shape and rich history, you’ll need to stay at the residence. Although anyone can swim in the surrounding waters, only guests are permitted to dock and explore the island. However, viewing the remarkable dolphin shape of the island is best achieved from above, anyway. Known also as Gallos or Sirenusas, Gallo Lungo is part of a group of islands off the Amalfi Coast in Italy.
The image displayed is a stock photo sourced from Boris-B on Shutterstock.
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Reworded: Let’s switch up the wording of this content to create an original piece and avoid any issues with plagiarism. We can take a more laid-back approach to the writing style to keep things engaging and interesting. And of course, we’ll be using our own words to truly make it unique!
Image source: Matty Lauro/Shutterstock