The legend of Polyphemus is a story closely linked to our territory and it can be seen from the many testimonies and places that are iconic symbols of the myth and its events.
Are you curious to discover the places of Polyphemus and their history? Follow us on this mythical tour!
It is right inside the famous volcano that Homer sets the first meeting between Ulysses and Polyphemus. The Achaean hero had gone with his companions to the cave of the Cyclops to ask for hospitality who agreed with the aim of capturing and devouring them, he succeeded in killing some of them but then he was overwhelmed by the effects of the wine and fell asleep. So Ulysses and his surviving companions decided to attack him in his sleep and blinded his only eye. Ulysses had astutely presented himself with the name of Nobody so, when the blinded and enraged Polyphemus asked for help from the other Cyclopes, they asked him who had been to hit him and, answering “Nobody” they thought he was crazy and left.
Visiting the caves knowing and remembering the legend of the cyclops allows you to have an even more exciting experience, perceiving the power of those places and the legend that began there.
Faraglioni of Aci Trezza
The so-called “Faraglioni” are a group of small islands in Sicily at the foot of the Etna volcano which are part of a protected marine area and are located within the municipality of Aci Trezza. Legend tells that Polyphemus, discovering that he had been deceived by Ulysses and his companions, threw a rock against their boat before they managed to escape.
Today those stones are the famous stacks that make the seafront of Aci Trezza unique and inimitable. Actually, the stacks are the reference point of the entire coast that goes from Aci Trezza to Aci Castello, and seeing them at sunset creates an even more suggestive atmosphere!
Aci e Galatea fountain (Villa Belvedere)
Polyphemus is the protagonist of another legend, this time written by the Latin poet Ovid. This story sees the Cyclops interrupt and destroy the love story of two lovers, known as Aci and Galatea. The young Aci was a shepherd who grazed his flock between Etna and the sea, and when one day he met the nymph Galatea, it was immediately love. The nymph, however, had already aroused interest and attraction on the part of the cyclops who, when he saw the two young lovers together, became furious and hurled a large mass of lava at Aci which brutally overwhelmed him. Galatea was desperate and wept incessantly so Jupiter transformed her tears into a river which took the name of Aci and which reaches the sea from Etna.
At the Villa Belvedere in Acireale there is the Aci and Galatea fountain which portrays the two young lovers immediately after the tragedy and one can grasp the desperation and suffering of the nymph.