If its doesn’t CHALLENGE you It Doesn’t CHANGE you

The origins of Amalfi, the legend of the nymph and of Hercules

Are you thinking of a journey to discover one of the most magical destinations on our peninsula? Choose Amalfi and you will fall in love with it at first sight. In this article we will make you discover the romantic legend that describes its origins. Let’s start to discover it!

Amalfi and the charm of its coast

To describe in words the enchantment of Amalfi is really difficult, almost impossible even for expert travelers and journalists in the sector.
No definition seems adequate to tell the poignant beauty of this town, nestled like a precious gem in the center of the coast that the whole world envies us. Amalfi is located 25 kilometers from Salerno and 32 kilometers from Sorrento, in the heart of a rocky and jagged coast, where sea and sky merge, giving unforgettable views and postcard sunsets.

The myth of the birth of Amalfi

Amalfi is a village of only 5,000 inhabitants, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997 and visited every year by millions of Italian and foreign tourists. Travelers are attracted by its white houses carved into the rock and its steep alleys, full of shops and restaurants, which seem wanting to dive into a deep and crystal clear sea.
This town attracts tourists like an enchanting muse and will make you fall head over heels in love, just as it happened many centuries ago to the brave Hercules, the son of Zeus.

The legend of Hercules and his beloved nymph

A beautiful legend has been handed down from generation to generation among the inhabitants of Amalfi, which tells the origins of the name of this ancient city in a romantic and moving way. Make yourself comfortable, listen to our story and you will no longer be able to leave to discover Amalfi!
The story goes that Hercules, son of the god Zeus and the beautiful (and human!) Alcmena lost his heart right on the Campania coast, pierced by love for a splendid nymph named Amalfi.
Whether it’s myth or reality let’s get to know their incredible story.

Amalfi and Hercules: a passionate and tender love

The legend tells of how the demigod Hercules, strong, powerful and able to conquer any woman in the universe, a few centuries ago fell madly in love with a beautiful nymph called Amalfi.
The girl immediately and with intense passion returned the feelings of Hercules, whose physical prowess, noble soul, courage and tenderness he loved.
For his part, Hercules had eyes only for the young Amalfi, who he had chosen as his life companion among all the creatures of the earth.
In the paintings that portray him, Hercules is always represented as a demigod with a sculptural physique, endowed with powerful muscles and incredible strength; the sweet Amalfi is instead portrayed as an ethereal and evanescent creature, dressed in a simple white tunic and with long hair surrounded by a crown of flowers.
A beautiful and in love couple, in which strength and fragility seemed to blend perfectly; a couple who could have had a long and happy life, blessed by divinities and men.
But fate had other plans in store and the beautiful fairy tale of
Hercules and Amalfi soon met a tragic ending.

The tears of Hercules

Just when their love seemed destined to last forever the envy of the gods took its hand and the sweet Amalfi died suddenly leaving Hercules immersed in the darkest despair.
As a child, you have certainly heard that a strong man never cries. Well, this legend shows us the opposite: even a demigod, feared and invincible as Hercules poured rivers of tears for the sake of his beautiful Amalfi.
How can we live without her? How to make sense of that painful loss by making his beautiful nymph immortal? After months of tears and despair Hercules had an idea …

The foundation of Amalfi

Hercules gained strength and decided that his Amalfi would live forever: in his eyes, in his heart but above all in the enchantment of the most beautiful place on the planet, which he would go to look for in memory of her.
Thus, Hercules began to travel all over the world in search of a place where to bury the great love of his life. The demigod in love was looking for a quiet place, kissed by the sun, overlooking a transparent sea where his sweet nymph could mirror himself for all his life.
After exploring the four corners of the globe, Hercules arrived on the rugged coast of the Campania coast and there he decided to stop, dazzled by the beauty of nature: no place in the world could have ever overcome that enchantment or host the eternal rest of his beloved.
Hercules buried his love in that magical strip of land and baptized the newborn town with the name of Amalfi.
Thus was born one of the most beautiful villages in Italy, a precious gem to pay homage to a nymph. But for Hercules it was still not enough … his beloved deserved more …

Amalfi lemons

Cobalt blue sea, jagged coasts, emerald trees and the constant embrace of the sun would have made Amalfi rest peacefully, but Hercules also wanted to surround her with a sweet and fruity scent, exactly as her skin was.
Then he decided to make a final gesture of love dedicated to Amalfi: Hercules challenged the Dragon placed in the custody of the Garden of the Hesperides and managed to defeat him by gaining entry into that garden full of fruit and flowers.
He chose the plants that seemed most beautiful to him and left the garden with some lemon trees in his arms, the largest and most fragrant he had ever seen. Hercules planted the seeds of these golden fruits in the place where he had buried Amalfi and on the nearby coasts, so as to ensure his lost love eternal rest wrapped in a wonderful perfume.
From that moment the most beautiful, juicy and fragrant lemons in the world adorn the coasts of Campania, keeping the sleep of the nymph who had made the son of Zeus fall in love.

Amalfi between legend and reality

Even if it is a legend, it is wonderful to hear this story while walking among the white houses of Amalfi.
Its inhabitants, especially the elderly, are proud to live in a place so enchanting as to have attracted the gaze of the gods and are happy to introduce tourists to the love story of Hercules and Amalfi.
A few kilometers from the town there is also a tiny village called Erchie in honor of the unfortunate demigod. In this small hamlet, surrounded by citrus groves and vineyards and reachable only on foot, there is a temple dedicated to Hercules.

Amalfi today

The centuries pass but the charm of Amalfi remains eternal, exactly like the love between the sweet nymph and Hercules.
You can reach it comfortably with your car, or by flying on Naples Capodichino airport, which has excellent connections (both scheduled and low cost) with the main Italian cities.
We advise you to discover Amalfi and all its coast slowly, getting lost without a precise destination in its narrow streets and tasting the typical dishes of Campania.
Wandering between Piazza Duomo and the Cathedral, wrapped in the intense scent of lemons, you will seem to see Hercules and Amalfi embraced to contemplate this enchanting corner of the world.
Perhaps this is the reason why many foreign couples (especially American and Japanese) choose the coast as the location for their wedding.
And what are you waiting for? Amalfi is waiting for you to give you an unforgettable holiday in a dream scenario, perhaps in the company of your better half!

Here’s what to visit in one day in Amalfi.

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