Scylla and Charybdis (Scilla & Cariddi)
The two rocks placed between mainland Italy and Sicily, overlooking the Messina Straits, are known since antiquity and considered home of two terrible monsters called Scylla and Charybdis.
Scylla, daughter of Crateide, was a beautiful nymph who was on the Zancle beaches (Messina), who fell in love with the sea god Glaucus, half fish and half man.
Rejected by the nymph, the Marine God asked witch Circe for help, without knowing that she was in love with him. The sorceress, offended by the refusal of the marine God to his court, decided to take revenge preparing a potion made of magical herbs to put into the waters where Scylla usually bathed.
When Scylla entered the water, her body was transformed and the bottom took the form of six dogs, each one with a horrible mouth and sharp teeth. These dogs had long, snake like necks with which they could eat humans.
Because of this transformation, Scylla hid in a cave into the Messina Strait. She also decided to take revenge on Circe depriving Ulysses of his men while he was crossing the strait, and she also swallowed the Aeneas’s ships.
Legend has it; Heracles, who was attacked by the nymph while crossing Italy with Geryon’s cattle, managed to kill her, but Scylla’s father was able to call her back to life thanks to his magic arts. The name Scylla recalls "the one who tears apart".
Together with Charybdis, Scylla according to Greeks, personifies the destructive sea forces. These two gods, localized between the two Messina strait shores, are representing the sea’s dangers.