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Myths and legends of Umbria

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Aug 172020Myths and legends of Umbria The many tales, legends and curiosities that have been handed down for centuries also contribute to the charm of the Umbrian territory. In particular, some very curious and particular legends interest the capital, Perugia: we will tell you about them, inviting you to come and discover them for yourself.
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The many tales, legends and curiosities that have been handed down for centuries also contribute to the charm of the Umbrian territory. In particular, some very curious and particular legends interest the capital, Perugia: we will tell you about them, inviting you to come and discover them for yourself.

The legend of the Griffin of Narni and Perugia
It is no coincidence that both the city of Perugia and the city of Narni have the griffin as their coat of arms, a mythological creature with the body of a lion and the head of an eagle. In fact, it is said that, in medieval times, a griffin wandered in the countryside between the two city centers, tormenting the inhabitants of the territory because of the terrible raids against the animals that the peasants used to raise. Perugia and Narni then decided to put aside their historic rivalry and join forces to eliminate the beast. The feat was arduous, but in the end the griffin was captured and each of the two cities had a part of it as a trophy: Perugia took the skin and for this reason its coat of arms is the white Griffin; Narni took the skinned body and for this his coat of arms is the red Griffin.



The Fontana Minore
Perugia has among its most important and well-known symbols the Fontana Maggiore, but this precious monument is not the only one of its kind to have affected the center of the Umbrian capital. To counterbalance it - even if the real reasons for which it was built are not known - between 1277 and 1281 the “Fontana Minore” or “Fontana degli Assetati” was also erected, later also known as “Fontana del Grifo e del Leone”: the two famous bronze statues, now located in the atrium of Palazzo dei Priori, were in fact made by Arnolfo Di Cambio precisely for the fountain of which he himself was the author. The monument was located in via Mazzini and, perhaps due to defects in its functioning, it was already dismantled in 1308. In addition to the Griffin and the Lion of Palazzo dei Priori, some of its components are kept in the National Gallery of Umbria: these are the marble statues of the Thirsty in Knee, the Thirsty with the Pitcher, the Sick at the Fountain, the Scribe with Book and the Acephalus Scribe.

The wink of San Costanzo
Tradition has it that on the occasion of the feast of the patron of Perugia, San Costanzo, celebrated on January 29, single girls must go to the church dedicated to the saint to find out about their love future. In particular, if San Costanzo winks at the girl, it means that she will get married within the year, otherwise, her boyfriend will have to console her by giving her the famous “torcolo”. Apparently it is the play of light that hit the image of the patron saint that makes it seem that he winks.



The Count of Corciano and Perugia
This knightly legend is intertwined with the history of the founding of the city and is reported by the Latin poem Eulistea, written by Bonifacio da Verona around 1293 on behalf of the Perugia Municipality. It is the story of Ulysses who arrived in Italy following the destruction of Troy. He went up the Tiber river and stopped in the place called Colle Landone where he founded Perugia. With Ulysses, there were several followers including Coragino, a Trojan noble, with his family. However, disagreements arose between Ulysses and Coragino that led the Trojan and his men to leave Perugia and found Corciano not far away. Sometime later, Candida, daughter of Coragino, married the son of the Conte del Lago, Novizio: from the union Cornaletto was born who became the young lord of Corciano. One day Cornaletto challenged the paladin Orlando to a duel who accepted the challenge on the condition that, if he defeated him, Cornaletto would convert to Christianity and be baptized. Orlando won and baptized Cornaletto, also appointing him a knight as a prize for his courage: from this event, according to the Count, the religious and civil history of Corciano began.

To experience this wonderful region during your holidays, take a look at our selection of luxury rental villas in Umbria.

  




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