Legend of Aci and Galatea


The legend of Aci and Galatea tells of the love between a nymph, Galatea, and a shepherd boy named Aci.
Legend has it that Polyphemus, a Cyclops who lived in the volcano, was madly in love with the young Galatea, a beautiful nymph daughter of the marine gods Doride and Nereo. Aci was instead a simple but beautiful shepherd boy, son of Faun, who grazed his sheep near the sea. When Aci saw Galatea, he fell madly in love with her and the love was immediately reciprocated by the nymph. One evening, in the moonlight, the Cyclops saw the two lovers kissing by the sea. Blinded by jealousy, as soon as Galatea plunged into the sea, Polyphemus took a large mass of lava and threw it at the poor shepherd, crushing it. As soon as Galatea heard of the terrible news, she immediately ran and wept all her tears over Aci's mangled body. Jupiter and the gods took pity and transformed the shepherd's blood into a small river that springs from Etna and flows into the stretch of beach right where the two lovers used to meet, in the village of Santa Maria la Scala.

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