Passions & Places

Legends of the Adriatic Sea

Legends and fables of the Adriatic sea

…Legend has that Scirocco, Bora and their children lived in a far away land: Illiria. Velebit had dark curly hair and the beautiful Adria was slim and had beautiful blue eyes and golden hair. Once Scirocco, longing for knowing new worlds, decided to leave to come back only after seven long years. While he was approaching his land again he was imprisoned by a wicked wizard. He wanted to kidnap the beautiful Adria because he was madly in love with her. So one night the wizard went to submit the inhabitants of Illiria. Velebit didn’t want to surrender though. So he prayed the Gods to turn him into a stone. So the mountains that protect North Dalmatia originated. The sweet and lovely Adria was turned into sea… the Adriatic sea.

The legend so explains the origin of the Adriatic sea. Its name is in fact given to the Venetian city of Adria. It was a famous Etruscan harbour (VIII century B.C.). The harbour passed then under the control of the Ancient Greeks and then to the Gallic population that also founded the city of Senigallia. The harbour was so important due to its strategic position both for trading and commercial purposes. The Romans held the control of the city that then passed over to the Byzantine empire.  

The magic of legends is what captures us more. So lets tell some other stories connected with spots of Le Marche.

Le Due Sorelle in the Ancona district have always inspired legends. The most peculiar one says that the two stones emerging from the sea have in fact been originated by a spell that turned into stone and cut in halves a maritime evil being. Its alley was a wicked mermaid who charmed seamen with her voice and then trapped them in a cave, now called Grotta degli Schiavi (cave of the slaves). An other legend told about the cave has that pirates imprisoned there their prisoners. Once it happened to be imprisoned there a beautiful Venetian princess. She was so scattered that cried so much that from her tears sprang a river that still flows into the Adriatic Sea (a different version has that herself melted into tears).

The Conero coastline is crowded with rocks emerging from the sea. Their peculiar shapes are explained by various stories. L’Emerso (The Emerged) is a conic shaped rock that seems to have emerged from the sea one night without any apparent explanation. Il Trave (The Beam) is a rock that stretches for one km. It is told to have been once a bridge that linked the two lands.

San Benedetto del Tronto has a special bound with the Adriatic Sea. The city has based its economy on the sea. San Benedetto was a Catholic martyr that was beheaded and thrown into the sea. It was found at the Ambula river mouth. The corpse was intact. The city of Truentum was so called after him.

How did Adria story end?  
Adria was threatened by the wicked wizard. She was warried and the waters stormy. So Bora, her mother, turned herself into an impetuous wind, blew on the sea to protect her. Scirocco, that in the meantime, had turned into wind as well, blew on the land and defeated the wizard. The waters calmed, the winds stopped blowing and the coastline bloomed again.

© 2005 Liberation Ventures Ltd.


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