The sea of Circe and the Riviera of Ulysses in narrative, legend and history

The stretch of coast that goes from San Felice Circeo to Gaeta in southern Lazio evokes extraordinary tales, myths and legends that are common heritage throughout the world. Anyone would be fascinated by the myth of the sorceress Circe and the story of Ulysses. In his wanderings, he landed on these shores and met the beautiful sorceress with the golden curls who became fascinated by the Greek hero.

Promontorio del Circeo

It matters little that the Isle of Circe, in reality, is not actually an island from the geographical point of view but rather a promontory.


Nor does it matter that the island evoked by Homer may actually be Monte Circeo or, as some theories assert, the island of Ponza instead, which the Greeks had visited and was known to Homer.


It matters little whether some might not believe that Ventotene is the island of the sirens, who fascinated and enraptured those who heard their song. The myth does not stop at documentary evidence, but flies high and into our imaginations and fantasies, nourishing the heart and soul of visions, stories, emotions and beauty.

On the strength of this narrative, the three seaside villages of San Felice Circeo, Ponza and Ventotene were proclaimed the winners of the Cities of Culture in Lazio competition of 2019 and also join Ithaca, the Greek island home of Ulysses, in sharing the charms and beauties of the Mediterranean marine environment.


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