The tower of Manfria, located in Manfria (a seahamlet of Gela), was built in 1549 and left unfinished until 1615, when Pedro Tellez Giron y Guzman Duca di Ossuna decided to complete it through architect Camillo Camlliani’s drawing. It was one of the most important thirty-seven coastal towers of Sicily and it had the important role of monitoring and identifying any dangers coming from the sea which were reported by four soldiers called “torrari”. To this tower belongs a wonderful legend narrated orally among peasants of Gela: THE LEGEND OF THE GIANT MANFRINO. He was a kind and unfortunate man who guarded a hidden treasure that contained Greek and Roman coins. He had a beautiful young sister, “La Bella Castellana”, who never came out from her land and for which her real name is unknown. Her brother cultivated flowers and fruit trees for her, inherited from a Maltese knight whose identity is unknown. One day, while Manfrino was galloping through the fields with  his horse, he saw a beautiful woman with golden hair who moved with a grace that the giant never saw in any other woman. He rode the horse so speed in order to meet her, but magically, the woman faded away. By the time he returned home, Manfrino told to his sister what it had happened, so she decided to organize a feast, where the nobles from all over Sicily were invited, hoping the beautiful woman could arrive. Finally the graceful woman reappeared and he no longer considered the other guests. The princes, seeing him distracted, took advantage of it  and killed all the guests and lastly La Bella Castellana as well. After going to the beach, finding Manfrino frightened, they took courage and killed him.

 “They killed Manfrino, but they could not kill his memory, still today on clear nights, in the silent quiet of the site, it’s possible to ear those cries for help”

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Federica Opretti


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