Pages

8/02/2011

SCILLA: AT THE EDGES OF THE LEGEND

Ulysses and his men passed from here, centuries and centuries ago.
Homer tells us how, together with his crew, the mythical king of Ithaca was able, thanks to his intelligence, to overcome the perils of Scylla and Charybdis, two monsters, guardians of the Straits of Messina, which sucked and devoured passing boats.
mythological creatures Scilla and Cariddi
Navigate through the strait (which measures less than 4 km) on small wooden boats, at the time of Ulysses was not to be a simple undertaking.
 
There was at stake the control of the divine will and the Chaos, represented by the forces of Nature.

There were strong currents, treacherous rocks and marine vortices to overcome.
And still they are there. 
They have always been there.
They are Scylla and Charybdis.

On the coast of Sicily lived a woman named Charybdis, daughter of Poseidon and the Earth, known for her voracity.
Once Hercules crossed the Strait with the herds of Geryon and the girl, always hungry, devoured animals.
Zeus punished the girl by transforming her into a sea monster.

Three times at day Charybdis  used to swallow the water and vomit out the ships, devouring everything that was to cross that stretch of sea.
When Ulysses passed through the Straits was sucked into the vortex of the monster.

He thought of clinging to a fig tree that grew at the entrance of the cave where Charybdis was hidden. When she regurgitated the tree, Odysseus came up  of the water and started his browsing again.

On the Calabrian coast of the strait another monster terrorized sailors.
Scylla was hidden in a dark cave inside an high rock, inaccessible to mortals.
Scilla rock view from the beach
 In the Odyssey Homer tells how Glaucus, in love with Scylla, refuses the love of the enchantress Circe. The witch, in revenge for the girl, mixed magic herbs  in the water source in which Scylla used to bathe.
Beach of Scilla during winter
  The beautiful girl has been turned into a horrible creature.
From its basin appeared rabid dogs with long necks in the shape of a snake and mouths full of sharp teeth, which grabbed to devour everything passed through the sea next to the coast.
Messina coast
 Anyone who walks today along the beach of Scilla can see the rock into which, according to Homer, was hidden the monster, waiting to kidnap and devour the sailors passing through the strait.
It’s just below the castle which overlooks a cliff dominating the sea.
 
But our Scylla, ancient fishing port, is also a charming village on  the coast of Calabria, one of the most beautiful in the region; with its amazing landscape, reminiscent of ancient Greek myths, and the richness of its sea bed.

 This small town, ideal travelers destination from March to October, is divided into three districts: the oldest suburb is "Chianalea", where the old fishermen's houses are forever touched by the sea, separated by small alleys. 
Chianalea
"Marina Grande" is the waterfront, home of "Beach Sirens" and "St. George" is the residential neighborhood.
Marina Grande
 In the days of clear sky, when the visibility is excellent, from the castle of Scylla (today a museum and and elegant restaurant) you see in the distance, beyond the Strait of Messina, the beautiful Aeolian Islands. 
Maybe those are home of the mythological mermaids. Who knows it?
 Calabrian coast

"AGGHIOTTA DI PESCESPADA"
"Delicious swordfish"
Ingredients
Serves 4
1 kg of swordfish
1 onion
1 clove of garlic
some bay leaves
500 g of tomato pulp
parsley
Some salted capers
1 splash of white wine
Flour as needed
Extra virgin olive oil
1 pinch of salt

Preparation:
Remove the skin from the fish and cut it into slices, put it in flour and fry in a pan with hot oil.
Drain, dry on paper towels and season with salt.
In a pan, put a cold onion and minced garlic, chopped bay leaves, chopped tomatoes, a pinch of salt and a bit of oil.
Cook for about twenty minutes, then remove from heat and add the slices of fried fish and sprinkle with the chopped parsley, add some capers and a splash of white wine.
Bake at medium heat for about 15 minutes and serve.

https://amorbis.infusionsoft.com/go/tin/conniermn/
A fisherman's friend watching us from Scilla






No comments: