NEW YORK FOLKLORE QUARTERLY
Vol. XIX, No. 4, December, 1963
FOLKLORE FROM THE HEART
OF ITALY—PART II
Lydia Q. Pietropaoli
(continued from September 1963)
A CASTLE ON THE HILL
MODERN Italy is constantly reminded of its ancient face by the fragmentary remains of the structures still standing which were built by the Romans centuries ago. So much a part of the lives of today’s Romans have these decaying skeletons become, that a popular, however, not very propitious saying goes, “The day the Colosseum crumbles to the ground, Rome shall crumble, too!”
We’re happy to say it is only a saying!
One tottering building of less repute, a castle said to have been ruled by the Colonnas, perched high on a hill in the region of Rome, has, through the years, inspired many an enchanting tale. The folks of old, which have since left this earth, claimed that le fate (fairies) and funny little folk, like the leprechauns of Ireland, once roamed the old castle making all sorts of horrifying noises. Some of these little fellows were friendly at times. The people were not frightened by them and often invited them to dine at their homes. “No,” they would always say, “for we have bread of gold.” These screeching personages vowed to haunt the castle until the last of them died. Years have passed, they say, since the last ones departed to their eternal resting place, but the scary atmosphere still pervades the minds of those who go near the castellaccio (ruined castle)....
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