Scilla a Scilla



Text, Video, Voice: Roberta Cortese
Translation in Reggino dialect (Reggio Calabria): Vincenza Costantino
© all rights reserved
Scilla, August 2021

In the Odyssey, Scylla is a monster with six long necks and dog’s heads, each with a triple row of teeth. Together with the whirlpool Charybdis, which swallows and spits out water three times a day, she is a threat to anyone wishing to cross the strait – and indeed Odysseus loses six men there. In a later version of her story, Ovid reveals that Scylla was once a beautiful nymph, transformed into a monster by Circe’s jealousy. Other sources claim that she was killed by Hercules and that her father let her come to live again.

Here she is now, in the town of Scilla in Calabria, which together with Capo Peloro in Sicily (where Charybdis was supposed to be), marks the Strait of Messina.