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Journey through sea legends: mythological creatures and sailor stories

Wednesday 21 june 2023

Explore fascinating sea legends, including the bell octopus of Tellaro, the mysterious stories of the island of Femmine, and the birth of the seven gems of the Tyrrhenian Sea. Immerse yourself in the folklore and adventures of these hidden curiosities of the sea.

Journey through sea legends: mythological creatures and sailor stories

Grotta dei gamberi, Portofino - Ph. Luca Abbate/flickr

Are you ready to plunge into mystery and sail the waves of the most fascinating sea legends? Through the stories that have enthralled and intrigued generations of listeners, we will discover together the hidden world of the sea and its countless curiosities.

Delve into the depths of the legend of the bell octopus of Tellaro, a fascinating story that combines mystery and tradition linked to this charming Ligurian town. Let us guide you to the magical island of Le Femmine, as we unveil the legends that surround this place full of charm and intrigue. Finally, immerse yourself in the mythology surrounding the birth of the seven gems of the Tyrrhenian Sea, a journey between islands and hidden treasures.

Don't miss these fascinating narratives that weave adventure, suspense and folklore, and take with you a piece of marine history still unknown to many. Are you ready to sail the sea of legends? Then set sail with us and be enchanted by these breathtaking tales!

The legend of the bell-ringer octopus of Tellaro

On a dark stormy night Tellaro, a district of Lerici and a stronghold of Barbazzano was challenged by the most fearsome pirate Galla d’Arenzano. The cunning sailor chose the best night to fulfil his criminal purpose. No-one could imagine an attack from the sea because of the very bad weather. No-one could alarm by ringing the bells of the church of San Giorgio that is still overlooking the coast. The crooks had almost reached the coast when the bell started to ring the alarm from the top of the tower-bell. The village’s inhabitants rushed in defence of the place and they could get the better of the enemy but they were very surprised when they realized that no-one had rung the bell, a giant octopus had stretched one of its tentacles towards the bell’s rope thus making the bell ring. As a result the big octopus became the symbol of the village and an inscription was dedicated to it on the church wall "Saraceni mare nostrum infestantes sunt noctu profligati quod polipus aer cirris suis sacrum pulsabat" but it’s ironically a local delicacy too... isn’t it?

Leggenda del polpo di Tellaro

The legend of the island of Women

Why the Sicilian people might have called the tiny island off the coast of Palermo “the Island of Women"? Pliny the Younger believed that many beautiful girls lived on the island and he thought they used to offer themselves to the winners of the epical deeds. The Earl of Capaci locked up a beautiful girl on the island since she didn’t return his love so during her imprisonment she threw herself on the rocks. Another legend goes that thirteen Turkish girls hid themselves on the island after they had been drifted away and seriously blamed. The thirteen women had lived there for seven years until their remorseful relatives got them back. Back to the mainland they founded the village of Capaci (from the Arabic Cca-paci = the peace is here). Someone also thinks that this name may come from "insula fimi" or "isola di Eufemio", the General of Messina, the Byzantine governor of Sicily. You can choose your favourite story. One thing is sure, this amazing place radiates the charm of Sicilian women…….a total female charm.

Isola delle Femmine
Ph. Claudio Fatta/flickr

The birth of the seven precious stones of the Tyrrhenian Sea

The beautiful Venus was so careless! She fell for Eros and while she was rushing to reach him she stumbled down and she broke the necklace around her neck and the seven precious stones fell into the water. These sacred precious stones gave birth to seven wonderful islands: Elba, Giglio, Capraia, Montecristo, Pianosa, Giannutri and Gorgona. The fallen precious stones turned the rocks into the other little islands that surround the seven precious jewels of the Tyrrhenian sea.

 Giannutri - Ph. fcentur71/flickr

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