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The legend of Maria la Bella and the Castle of Brolo

The legend of Maria la Bella and the Castle of Brolo
Discover Brolo

The castle of Brolo, whose construction dates back to the tenth century AD, is situated on a charming promontory upon the sea in the metropolitan city of Messina. The Norman building was once known under the name Voab, whose meaning is "Sea Fortress", because of its geographical and strategic position. In fact, it dominates the medieval village below with its magnificent tower.
Of the original complex of the Castle remains the wall, the two access doors and a court set in the garden with a hexagonal well, all topped by the height of the medieval tower, which rises to four levels, culminating in a merloted terrace.

The castle has been an idyllic home of noblemen, as well as the residence of Princess Bianca Lancia, wife of Emperor Federico II and mother of Manfredi King of Sicily.

If the Castle and the medieval village characterize the appearance of the town, it is thanks to the rock underneath the tower, known as the "rock of tears", which Brolo fits right into the list of magical and legendary places in Sicily. The old Fishermen of the place, in fact, tell a legend, probably linked to the Lancia family: the legend of Maria la Bella, Daughter of Francis I.

It seems that the beautiful princess was used to look out of the balcony and wait for her beloved, who, with her small boat, came under the walls of the castle, then cling to the blond hair of the princess and climb the tall tower to reach her secretly.
One day, however, the prince his brother noticed their fleeting encounters and, extremely gealous, he decided to kill the man who chased after the beautiful Mary.

After a last encounter of love, in a dark night without stars, while the young man was coming down from the tower thanks to the braids of his Mary, he was injured by his brother who was waiting for him on the rock in front of the castle, which was then called " The rock of tears " The young man's body was then put in a sack and dropped to the bottom of the sea.

Since then the beautiful princess waited for her lov in vain. Tthe legend says that her soul is still near the rock, always ready to advise the fishermen when it is better to retire, saying to them "Isati li riti! Viniti! Turnati!". When the sea is in bonaccia (which means good conditions), instead, she wish them good fishing with "“Juta e vinuta! Bona piscata!".

Today this castle is home to a museum and still retains its charm, accompanying the sound of waves crashing on the rocks and the medieval atmosphere of which the scene that stands before the eyes is permeated.