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The Siren Parthenope

The origin of the city of Naples, is connected to the famous myth of the Siren Parthenope that is intertwined with the history, legend and myth of Ulysses.

The Maga Circe had warned Ulysses, returning from the Trojan War, against the singing of the sirens (half woman and half bird - in Greek mythology), which according to legend, lived on the rocks, those in front of Positano today called "Li Galli", whose original name was Sirenusse.

The enchanting Sirens, with their seductive appeal, the sailors, that subjugated by their song, lost control of the boats going to crash on the rocks. If Ulysses had wanted to listen to them, should have weatherstripping with wax the ears of his companions and to be tied to the mast of the ship. The sirens did hear their melodious voice, hiding among the flowers, the remains of the sailors who had resisted their call and promised to Ulysses that would have revealed the secrets of knowledge and everything that happens at any time and place of the earth. Ulysses tried to free himself but his comrades bound him more closely, so the ship sailed on and survived.

The Sirens were divine, but not immortal and, therefore failing their power to enchant against Ulysses, killed themselves rushing from the rocks.

The body of the siren Parthenope was carried by ocean currents among the rocks of Megaride (where today stands the Castel dell'Ovo), and the people there found the goddess, with eyes closed in the white face and long hair swaying in the water. Was placed in a magnificent tomb, gave name to the fishing village and became the protector of the place, revered by the people and honored with sacrifices and torchlight processions to the sea.

No one knows where it will be his grave, (real or legendary); scholars and archaeologists have thought to locate on the hill of Sant'Aniello Caponapoli, under the foundations of the church of Saint Lucia, the temple built in Naples, on Megaride islet, in the basement of Castel dell'Ovo.

A second version of the legend, said that the siren Parthenope, after his death, landed, transported by sea, on the islet of Megaride, was dissolved and its sinuous body became the morphology of the landscape of Naples (hence the name of the city: Parthenope), leaning his head to the east on the height of Capodimonte, and the foot (so to speak) to the west, towards the promontory of Posillipo.

In the nineteenth century, however, about the legendary founder of the eponymous city, spread a different story: the love of the mermaid for the Centaur Vesuvius. This would have triggered the jealousy of Zeus punished them by transforming him into a volcano and she in the city of Naples.


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Renaissance Naples Hotel Mediterraneo
Via Ponte di Tappia 25 - IT 80133 Napoli
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