LI GALLI: SIRENS, DANCE AND LIGHT BLUE LIZARDS
The tiny archipelago of Li Galli is situated approximately three miles off the coast of Positano. Part of the protected marine area of Punta Campanella, it is formed by three islands, Gallo lungo, the largest, La rotonda and La Castelluccia. The archipelago which, according to legend, was once inhabited by sirens, was purchased in the 1920s by Russian ballet dancer and choreographer Leonide Massine who built a theatre and villa on it. A decade after his death, Li Galli was bought by another Russian dancer, Rudolph
Nureyev who planned to open a ballet school on the island. His untimely death prevented him from fulfilling his dream and, in 1988, the island was once again uninhabited. Since 1993, it has been owned by an industrialist from Sorrento who bought it for the princely sum of five
billion lire. Li Galli has hosted a roster of celebrities including Greta Garbo, Roberto Rossellini, Anna Magnani, Ingrid Bergman, Jacqueline Kennedy, Aristotele Onassis,
Hillary Clinton and Franco Zeffirelli. Today, the archipelago can only be reached by private boat. Although the islands are tiny and impervious, the beauty of their crystal-clear waters and magnificent surrounding scenery are well worth a visit. The archipelago is also inhabited by a rare species of light blue lizard, now almost extinct.