Colapesce – a Sicilian tale for World Storytelling Day

Sicily is full of myths and legends. The myth of Colapesce is one of my favourites. It tells of a fisherman’ son, Nicholas from Messina. He was known as Colapesce because of his love for the sea and his skills under the water: everytime he dived into the sea he resurfaced from the waves, ready to recount the incredible discoveries from the world beneath the waves.

The fame of Colapesce reached the King of Sicily and Emperor Frederick II who decided to test his abilities by throwing a cup overboard. While the king and his court were waiting on the boat, Colapesce succeeded and immediately  recovered the cup. The king wanted to try him again and this time, threw his own crown into the depths. Once more, Colapesce brought the treasure back. As a final challenge, Frederick II threw his ring into the sea, but this time Colapesce did not surface.

Colapesce had discovered that one of the the three columns holding Sicily up was broken. He decided to stay there to hold the column up saving the island from the sinking.

The myth of Colapesce