Our Italian Kitchen Table

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Famous Italian myths

How well do you know these Italian legends?

 

Italy has some truly unique mythology and tales tied to its history, some interesting and some more curious! We have a few intriguing Italian legends to share with you such as the foundations of Rome.

 

Romulus & Remus – The tale of the sons of the Roman God of War, Mars, is in fact the legendary story of the building of Rome. Romulus and Remus were abandoned by their father and sent down the river Tiber in a basket. They were discovered by a female wolf, the Lupa, who raised the twins as her own until a shepherd took responsibility for them. The brothers decided to build a city in the location where they were brought up by the Lupa, but argued over where they should base their site which resulted in a fight to the death, with Romulus killing Remus. Romulus is then said to have founded the city of Rome and to this day bronze statues can be seen across the city in referencing the tale.

 

The Lariosauro – This Italian myth is similar to the Loch Ness Monster of Scotland, never proven but genuinely believed by many. Folklore maintains that the beast is real and rumoured to live in Lake Como, with alleged sightings dating back to the ‘50s. Some say those who saw it were merely confused by the sight of an overly large eel.

 

The Befana – The Befana is a witch who appears in the night between January 5th-6th and is notorious for flying a broom. She treats children who have behaved well with gifts, and those who do not receive a lump of charcoal (a little harsh maybe!). Nowadays kids receive “charcoal” made from black sugar. This January celebration is an important holiday in southern Italy and especially Rome, with children receiving bigger gifts for la Befana than Christmas.

 

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