Ortigia Island excusion


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ARETUSA E ALFEO ING

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THE MYTH OF ARETUSA AND ALFEO
- THE ARETUSA SOURCE -

"Arethusa was among the nymphs after Diana the beloved one, they spent their days in the forests that grew luxuriant under Mount Olympus in Greece, chasing deer and fallow deer. Our Aretusa was beautiful, but so beautiful that she almost had trouble and blush showing herself to men. During a hunt he went too far away from the group of maidservants following Diana and arrived alone in front of the banks of the river Alpheus, whose waters were pure, very sweet and clear so that you could see the gravel on the bottom. It was a hot day and the nymph wanted to take a bath. All around there was a singular silence, broken only by the chirping of birds and by the ducks of aquatic ducks. Aretusa, perhaps encouraged by not being seen and by the oppressive heat, took off her white robes, placed them on a truncated, weeping willow tree trunk and immersed herself, beginning to enter the water with a sinuous and graceful bearing. But she immediately had the feeling that towards the center of the river, the water around her began to quiver and to form almost dancing vortexes, something magical was perhaps going to happen she thought, it seemed as if that water wanted to caress and wrap it to self. Troubled by these sensations she tried to get out of the water hurriedly, but it was at that moment that the river Alpheus turned into a handsome blond young man who, raising his head out of the water and collapsing his thick hair, showed himself to the nymph Aretusa, with the eyes of a lover.
The nymph, however, taken from the break, managed to free herself and to reach the shore with great effort, where she fled naked and dripping. Alfeo with a feline leap also came out of his river and pursued her without clothes and dripping with water drops. This chase long lasted and Alphaeus did not manage to reach the nymph at first. The seductive Arethusa, however, began to get tired and understood that her strength was failing her. He felt that Alphaeus was about to reach her and violate her, she who was a savage and modest virgin and had never known love.
For fear of being overwhelmed and profaned, Aretusa asked Diana for protection, invoking her to be turned into a spring in a place possibly far from Greece.
Diana first wrapped her in a mysterious mist and hid her at the sight of Alphaeus, then turned her into a spring and brought her, as in a strange spell, to Sicily in Syracuse near the island of Ortigia.
Alfeo, in the midst of that mist, lost sight of his beautiful nymph, but did not desist from looking for it and remained there. But when the fog cleared he found nothing more, he saw only in a mirror a source of gushing water and immersed in a wonderful garden. Alphaeus understood the wonder and was so in love that he overflowed with love. The gods took pity on him and Jove the almighty allowed him to reach his beloved, but Alphaeus had to make a great effort, he dug an underground under the Ionian Sea and from the Peloponnese came to emerge in the Great Port of Syracuse, next to his beautiful beloved : Arethusa. Together they lived happily ever after."
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Today this source of fresh water flows a few meters from the sea, on the island of Ortigia in Syracuse. It forms a small semicircular pond full of fish and where the green triumphs and grows the papyrus plant luxuriantly. A large colony of ducks has long since established its home in these clear waters. By local tradition it is also called "a funtana re papiri". All this makes of the current Fonte Aretusa a pleasant place to visit and a compulsory tourist destination. Then remembering the myth and leaning on the iron railing that overlooks the source, the visitor will have the feeling of seeing the scenes of the myth because the place is so full of magic that it will remain involved.
It is famous in Syracuse to walk, especially at sunset, along the Aretusa Fountain and see the sun descend on the horizon behind the Iblei Mountains. For the Syracusans historically it is the place par excellence where to find oneself and how in the spells the first loves of the adolescents light up.
The myth as surely perceived, continues to perpetuate itself, palpitate and become immortal.


Private tourist agency that deals with boat trips around the island of Ortigia and along the coast of Syracuse | info@ortigiaislandexcursion.com

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