28 Gennaio 2023


This legend has Greek origin and explains the richness of freshwater springs in the Etna area. There are, in the province of Catania, numerous towns with the word “Aci” in their names: Acitrezza, Acicastello, Acibonaccorsi, Acicatena, Aci San Filippo. The legend tells about a shepherd, named Aci, who lived on the banks of a river, who, with his flute, enchanted the animals and the beautiful nymph Galatea, who sat on the seashore, listening to him. Polyphemus, the rich shepherd, was in love with her, but she always rejected him.
When the Cyclops realized that the girl was in love with Aci and he returned her, he threw a boulder at the shepherd and killed him. The gods, moved to pity by the harrowing pain of Galatea, turned the shepherd into a river, the Aci stream, and mixed its waters with those of the nymph that had melted into tears. So Aci and Galatea could continue to be together in the cool and bubbling waters of the stream that welcomed them.
The legend comes from a red water spring (rich in iron) that is located near Capomulini. Difficult to reach from the ground and known only by local fishermen with its reddish waters, which would remember the sling of blood gushing from the shepherd's chest and that would feed the legend. Historically, near Capomulini the first prehistoric human settlement in the area was estabilished. The stream was called Akus (which means "fresh, bubbling waters" in Greek).
In the eleventh century A.D. an earthquake destroyed the village, causing the exodus of survivors who founded other settlements. In memory of their home town, the refugees wanted to call the new centres after Aci, to which an appellation was added to distinguish one village from another. This explains, for example, the existence of Aci Castello (an appellation due to the presence of a castle built on a sea stack that was then destroyed by a lava flow in the 11th century) and Acitrezza (the town of the three sea stacks).

Source: news

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