Like every city in Italy, Vieste has a history full of legends. One of the most famous is the one about the Pizzomunno, the giant white tuff monolith 25 meters high located in the south of the city, on the so-called beach of the castle.
The legend of Pizzomunno tells of a romantic story, made of love and passion. The protagonists are Pizzomunno and Cristalda, two young local lovers, whose feelings led to a terrible misfortune. The moral of the story, however, is positive: love, the real one, does not stop in front of anything, even the greatest hardships of life.
According to the legend, the love story between Pizzomunno and Cristalda started on the beaches of Vieste, when the city was still a fishing village. Pizzomunno, a young and handsome fisherman, spends his days in the middle of the sea, whose waters are populated by ruthless mermaids who, with their bewitching songs, try to attract fishermen and then kill them.
Pizzomunno, very much in love with his wonderful Cristalda, manages to ignore the attention of the sirens who, to lure him, promise him gifts and eternal dedication. The boy’s decisive refusal of each of their proposals unleashes the wrath of these evil beings who, taking advantage of the frequent meetings of Pizzomunno and Cristalda on the beach, kidnap the girl and kill her, dragging her with them into the depths of the sea.
The great pain petrifies the boy, who, in order to remain forever close to his beloved Cristalda, is transformed into the gigantic monolith that today bears his name.
According to the popular story, every 100 years on the night of August 15, the young lovers are allowed to meet again: the boy takes his human features and Cristalda emerges from the waters of which she is a prisoner to be together, even if for a few hours only.
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