Legend of Dafni


Cefalù is the place of the myth of Dafni, a young shepherd poet inventor of the Sicilian bucolic song.
Daphnis, son of the god Hermes and the nymph Daphnis, was abandoned in a forest of laurel plants. The child was found by the shepherds who took care of him together with the attentions of Apollo, Pan and Artemis who taught him to play and compose bucolic poems. He soon becomes a beautiful man known for his verses, his poems and the delicate song he accompanied with the sound of the bagpipe. His fame was such that he was invited to the palace of King Zeno, who was eager to listen to his song and his poems. It was on that occasion that Queen Clifene, seduced by the charm of the shepherd, tried to seduce him. But the young man, married to Echeneides daughter of Juno, did not succumb to his flattery. The queen did not accept the refusal, and organized, taking advantage of the king's absence, another ceremony at the palace inviting Daphni. The cunning queen gave the shepherd a powerful wine with aphrodisiac effects to drink and so the poet offered himself to her and her love.
Following this event, Juno avenged her daughter by blinding Daphnis. Thus it was that the shepherd, desperate and blind, began to wander through the Sicilian countryside continuing to play and sing, but this time only sad songs. Arriving near Cefalù, he finally decided to take his own life by jumping off a precipice, but his father Hermes took pity on his son and, in the moment before crashing, he transformed it into a cliff.
According to the Sicilian legend of Daphni, that cliff it still stands today on the sea of ​​Cefalù and is in fact included in the register of places and memory of the Sicilian Region.