Sicily is, par excellence, a land of myths. So, just for you, we’ve collected 10 of the coolest stories about her.

The whole of Sicily is the backdrop to many fantastic events. Land of giants, nymphs and ghosts, this island has a great charm, which increases due to its stories. Here are some that we have collected for you:

The coast of the giants

Near Catania, there is the so-called “Riviera dei Ciclopi”. It is an uncontaminated stretch of coastline which, according to legend, was the place where the mythical Cyclops lived, including Polyphemus. After being deceived by Ulysses, he threw rocks into the sea, towards the boats of the king of Ithaca. He was unable to hit him, but due to his anger, the current coastal strip was born.

Aci, the shepherd

In an indirect way, Polyphemus is also at the origin of other places. In fact, it is said that he was in love with the beautiful nymph Galatea. However, she did not reciprocate and was, instead, in love with the beautiful shepherd Aci, son of Pan. Still moved by anger, the Cyclops killed the young Aci, crushing him with a rock. Galatea was very saddened and wept for a long time. Her tears pity the Gods, who turned the remains of the shepherd into a river. This watercourse flows into the place where the two lovers met, on a beach not far from Acireale. And precisely by virtue of his death, the boy gave the name to the surrounding towns, such as, for example, Aci Castello and Aci Trezza.

Sicilia, the princess

A long time ago, in Lebanon, there lived a young princess named Sicily. An oracle predicted that, at 15, she would die unless she ran away. Therefore, her parents sent her out to sea in a small boat. After three months, he landed on a lush but uninhabited island. There was only one boy, who explained to her that the local people had died of the plague and that the two of them had been chosen to give birth to a new population. Thus, in memory of the girl, progenitor of the new inhabitants, that land took her name.

Tifeo, the giant who holds the island

Tifeo was a giant, son of Gaea, the Earth and Tartarus, personification of the Underworld. He was a monstrous being, with 100 dragon heads, fighting against Zeus, the father of the Gods. During one of these duels, he managed to throw it into a cave, right in Sicily. Then, Hermes and Pan saved the king of all deities, while the 3 Moira (symbol of Destiny) offered the monster fruit, destined for mortals. In this way, Tifeo began to lose his strength and, in a new fight, he was wounded, defeated and imprisoned under Etna. Since then, he has been forced to support the island. With his right hand he holds Messina, with his left the center of Pachino, with his legs Trapani and with his mouth the volcano.

Nicola, the pillar at the bottom of the sea

Many years ago, this Nicola lived in Messina, a fisherman by profession. He was nicknamed Colapesce because he knew the seabed in detail. For this reason, he became very famous, so much so that Emperor Frederick II even wanted to test him. First, the ruler threw a cup into the sea, ordering him to retrieve it and Nicholas succeeded. Then, he threw his own crown, but, again, in that case, the fisherman was able to bring it back to the surface. Finally, Federico threw a small ring into the water. This time, Nicola did not return. Apparently, he would die looking for the jewel. However, there are those who want it to have remained, in the abyss, to support Sicily, after discovering that one of the three columns intended for this purpose was damaged.

The restless spirits of Matteo

In the village of Caccamo stands a castle that dominates the surrounding valley, where the San Leonardo river flows. Built as a fortress, in 480 BC. C., became the property of Matteo Bonello in the 13th century. He was an enemy of King William the Bad. Driven by hatred, he killed the monarch’s adviser and, for this reason, was killed, tortured in a horrible way. His eyes were gouged out and his tendons cut. From that moment, his ghost wanders restlessly around the structure that was once his home.

The specter of Donna Laura

Near Palermo, in Carini, there is a castle, once the residence of an elderly baron. He had in his wife this Laura, just 14 years old. Unloved and alone, the girl fell in love with Ludovico Vernagallo, reciprocated. Discovered, the two were killed. Since then, Laura’s ghost has been roaming the manor. Furthermore, on the occasion of the anniversary of her death, it seems possible to see the bloody imprint of the young woman’s hand on a stone in the castle.

The well of Gammazita

At the time of the French domination of the island, an Angevin soldier fell in love with a girl named Gammazita, who lived in Catania. However, the young woman was not interested in the military, as she already had a boyfriend. Every day, however, he went downtown to collect water. It was on one of these occasions that, to the umpteenth refusal, the soldier killed her and threw her into the well, where she got supplies. It is therefore said that the copper deposits at the bottom of the cavity are, in reality, the girl’s blood.

The hidden treasures

The Sicilian legend is full of “truvaturi”, that is treasures that the islanders took care to hide when, in Sicily, the Moors arrived. These riches are protected by spirits. Connected to this tradition is the one that wants an incredible treasure hidden in the fief of Disisa (a fraction of Grisì, a town near Monreale). To protect him from spiteful ghosts, which prevent even a single coin from being taken away. To succeed in the enterprise, you need to be helped by 3 people, coming from different parts of the island, who must be named Santi Turrisi. With these men, you will have to kill a white mare and eat its entrails.

Lucia’s eyes

A saint much loved by Sicilians is Lucia. Born in Syracuse, she was a martyr Cristina, killed during the persecutions of the Roman emperor Diocletian. Her figure is celebrated on 13 December. Very beautiful woman, she gave her eyes to a boy in love with her. For her act of kindness, equally beautiful eyes grew back. The young man also demanded these and, when he refused the blessed, he killed her.

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