This autumn, visitors can discover Sicily’s one-of-a-kind history when staying with villa rental company, Villatravellers. The island’s fascinating past has left a legacy steeped in mythology, which has enchanted visitors for centuries. Ancient Greeks colonised the Italian island around 800 BCE, and it was around this time that their captivating stories began to circulate, soon reaching the vaulted heights of magic and mythology. And as a result, some of ancient Greece’s most memorable legends have their origins in Sicily and through Villatravellers, guests embrace these stories today.
As one of the finest villa rental companies in the region – Villatravellers’ exclusive locations are second to none, with many located amidst the lyrical landscapes which inspired these far-famed fables. Villatravellers’ properties combine the indulgences of a five-star hotel with their dedicated concierge service and without compromising on the familiarities and privacy of home. The brand prides itself in their expert local knowledge across all regions of Sicily.
Fountain of Arethusa – Ortigia, Siracusa – Stay nearby at Mutica
This freshwater fountain is an important symbol of the city of Ortigia and it is believed to be where the nymph Arethusa returned to the earth’s surface after escaping from her undersea home in Arcadia. Arethusa was pursued by river god, Alpheus, who was in love with the nymph – but she did not return his feelings. Eventually Arethusa was chased out of Arcadia and turned into a stream in order to escape Alpheus’ clutches. This stream ran underground all the way to Siracusa, where the fountain lies today.
Polyphemus – Riviera dei Ciclopi – Stay nearby at Le Dimore dell’Etna
According to the Homer’s Odyssey, the Greek hero Odysseus escaped from Polyphemus, a one-eyed cyclops and son of Poseidon, after being cast ashore on the coast of Sicily. Odysseus blinded Polyphemus shortly before escaping on a boat by clinging onto sheep. Out of rage and revenge, Polyphemus began throwing rocks at the boat, severely damaging it but it was too late and resourceful warrior escaped unharmed. It is believed the huge rocks sprouting from the “Riviera dei Ciclopi” (Cyclops’ Riviera) in east Sicily are the same stones that Polyphemus threw. The area is now a protected marine area with crystal clear waters.
Scylla and Charybdis – Straits of Messina – Stay nearby at Casalnuovo
The existence of the two monsters, Scylla and Charybdis is the most known legend in Sicily. The two monsters were said to live opposite each other along the narrow strait of water known as Straits of Messina, and whoever or whatever were to pass through would be attacked or swallowed. This legend has been interpreted into many well-known proverbs such as the advice to ‘choose the lesser of two evils’ – leading, inevitably, to downfall.
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