Italian myths and legends for children, the most beautiful stories to tell

Discover the stories for children of the Italian tradition

In Italy there are myths and legends originating from specific regions that have then spread everywhere. These are Italian myths and legends for children handed down mostly orally through generations. Even today these are told to children who remain fascinated. Here you can discover the most beautiful traditional legends and myths from the north to the south of Italy.

Pinocchio, the most famous puppet in the world

Carlo Collodi inaugurated with a first episode – published in the children’s magazine “Giornale per i bambini” – the series of “Storia di un burattino”. With the release of the last episodes, however, the title of the story had changed to “The Adventures of Pinocchio: Story of a Puppet”, which was published in 1883 as a book version.

There are several explanations about the birth of the name Pinocchio, including the one linked to the Tuscan dialectal term “pinocchio”, which indicates the pine tree, but someone links the etymology of the term to an ancient Florentine expression that indicates, in female version, a “hen”, that is a woman of low stature but round and well proportioned.

Pinocchio represents, however, a puppet – or a wooden puppet originally maneuvered with wires – and not properly a puppet, which is a puppet maneuvered by a hand inserted into it. The character, in fact, comes from an animated piece of wood, worked by carpenter Geppetto, who will adopt it after “creating”.

Its unmistakable characteristics are that of being made of wood, in fact, and of having a pointed nose, which lengthens every time it tells a lie. The author also represents him wearing a flower paper dress, shoes made with tree bark, and a hat made with bread crumbs. Basically good and innocent, Pinocchio often falls into temptation, frequenting bad company and getting into trouble, a kind of metaphor for all of us, in short.

INVIAGGIOCONUNLIBRO | Pinocchio macabro ed esoterico – La Penna nel Cassetto

Italian myths and legends for children: the days of the blackbird

One of the most loved legends of the Italian tradition comes from Milan it is about the days of the blackbird: the last days of January, considered to be the coldest of the year. This event is still celebrated today.

The legend tells of a family of white blackbirds who had put themselves on a chimney to warm up. Due to the cold, however, the chimney was lit and the blackbirds filled with soot. So they turned into little black birds as we know them today.


Jenas, Sardinian fairies: an Italian legend for children

One of the most fascinating tales of the Sardinian oral tradition is definitely that of Jenas. Without a doubt it is one of the most popular Italian myths and legends for children. They are Sardinian fairies creatures in the middle between fairies and witches.

They’re small, with shiny, delicate skin. According to legend, they lived in rock-cut houses in the hills of Macromer, in peace with humans.

In fact, they also participated in the festivals of the country when the sun went down. One day, however, they participated in the feast of foreigners who saw for the first time the Jenas. They were enchanted by these creatures and by their clothes and precious fabrics of their clothes.

In fact they were cloths woven of silver and gold with filigree buttons and glittering bracelets. A stranger attracted by this wealth tried to steal the buttons of a Jenas but immediately the sisters took her away. From that day on, the Jenas disappeared forever.


Italian myths and legends for children in southern Italy

But that’s not all, in fact there are Italian myths and legends for children who relate to the south. In Calabria in Catanzaro there is the story of Adele and Saverio. The two young people would have lived in the ‘800 and belonged to local noble families.

However, the young woman’s family did not agree and the brothers closed her up in the house. The two lovers continued to meet secretly at the window until the girl’s brothers realized and decided to eliminate the young man. 

Desperate Adele retreated forever to a convent in Naples.

It is said that even today his ghost appears in the family palace located in the center of Catanzaro. There are also many myths and legends for children concerning the origin of Sicily. One of the most fascinating is that of Princess Sicily. 

 She was born in a distant country in the East. The prediction of the oracle had said that in order to overcome the fifteenth year of life the girl had to leave her land and sail in solitude the Mediterranean on board a small boat otherwise a horrible monster would devour her. So, when she turned 15, he left to escape this horrible death. After three months of navigation the young girl was at the end of her strength and was close to death. The strong winds pushed her to the shores of a lush island.

Here she got healthy again and recovered her strength. But she felt so alone until one day she met a young man who told her that they were the only inhabitants of the island. Because of a terrible pestilence all the inhabitants of the island were dead. He told him that the gods had chosen them to repopulate it. From their union will be born Sicily and the Sicilian population.

La leggenda di Adele e Saverio: la versione calabrese della tragedia  shakespeariana tra 'Montecchi e Caputleti'

Cover Image: cultura.biografieonline

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