The ancient legends of Etna


Myths and mysteries of the Sicilian volcano

Etna reigns supreme, not only as one of the greatest natural wonders of the world, but also as a treasure of ancient legends

In this article, we will discover some of the fascinating stories and myths surrounding Etna. We will discover how its volcanic majesty has been passed down through generations.

Cyclops Polyphemus: legends of guardian of the volcano

According to Greek mythology, the fearsome Cyclops Polyphemus has its roots on the slopes of Etna. 

An imposing and fierce figure, Polyphemus was blinded by the cunning of Odysseus during his legendary journey home. 

It is said that his fury shaped the rocks and cliffs that adorn the volcano, a testimony of his power and his anger.

Acis and Galatea: a story of love and tragedy

Among the many legends that are intertwined with Etna, that of Acis and Galatea stands out for its beauty and tragedy. 

Acis, a humble shepherd, and Galatea, a nymph of extraordinary beauty, joined in a forbidden love. However, the jealousy and anger of the sea god Glaucus led to the tragic end of Acis. His blood poured onto the earth became the Acis river, an eternal testimony of their impossible love.

The forge of Hephaestus: the fiery heart of Etna

In the burning heart of Etna, it is said that resides the forge of the god of fire and metallurgy, Hephaestus (or Vulcan, according to Roman mythology). 

Here, between the dancing flames and the intense heat, Hephaestus forges the weapons of the Olympian gods. 

Volcanic eruptions are interpreted as the result of his incessant work, an activity that continues to shape and transform the mountain over the centuries.

Searching for Persephone: the legends linked to Demeter’s journey

Another legend surrounds the journey of Demeter, the goddess of the earth, on the slopes of Etna in search of her daughter Persephone, kidnapped by the cruel Hades. 

Carrying a torch to illuminate the way, Demeter awakens the tumultuous energy of the mountain, creating volcanic eruptions that are said to be the result of his passage.

Etna, with its imposing presence and its fiery manifestations, continues to inspire charm and wonder in those who contemplate it. 

Through the ancient legends and myths that intertwine with its history, Etna reveals itself not only as a force of nature, but also as an inexhaustible source of mystery and magic. 

Whether you are an adventurous traveller or an avid dreamer, exploring the stories of Etna is an experience that will transport you to a world of timeless wonder and enchantment.