Sicily and the legend of Colapesce

I will you tell the story of Colapesce, as it was told me by a painter of Palermo that I met while I was walking downtown.

Colapesce was a child, the son of a fisherman, who was used to spend the most of his time into the water, in Sicily.

One day the King Frederick the II, who was passing by, asked the child to get into the water and look for the treasure that had fallen down or that he had thrown into the sea, not sure about that.

Colapesce entered the sea for the first time and came up saying that he didn’t found any treasure, but that he saw a column under the water holding the ground above. The King then said to Colapesce to get back again and look better.

Colapesce entered again the sea and said he saw a second column, this time slightly burned as if there had been a fire, but still working.

The King then said to Colapesce to go down again and try again.

This time Colapesce found a third column, cut in half, no longer able to sustain the overlying ground.

Colapesce understood then that he had found the treasure. It was Sicily, which at that time was called Trinacria *.

At that point he decided to climb up to the half column and to support himself his land, which otherwise would have fallen into the sea.

Sicily and the legend of Colapesce

The story was told to me by Pietro Sciortino, who represented it in a wonderful triptych I saw at his lab. I could not find the image of triptych on the web but what you see here above is one of his works.

* Trinacria from greek “treis”, and three “Akra”, capes, to its triangular shape.

Author: Silvia

Sicily and the legend of Colapesce