Folktale week: Crown

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In the mountains of the Germanasca Valley, 2400 m a.s.l., lies the plateau of the so-called Tredici Laghi (“thirteen lakes”).

One of these is called Lago dell’Uomo (“man’s lake”) and a legend explains why. It’s said that a prince, passing by, saw a beautiful nymph on a piece of ice in the middle of the lake. The two looked at each other and fell in love. The nymph told she was a prisoner and that anyone who tried to enter the waters of the lake died instantly frozen. The prince, after much research, found the solution and went to Tibet to get incredibly cold-resistant sheep. On the back of the animals he managed to cross the icy waters and bring his beauty to safety.

I Tredici Laghi – Prali, Val Germanasca

But the prince did not have time to rejoice, when he heard the desperate bleats of one of the two sheep that had remained in the water and was about to drown. Moved to pity, he went back to save the poor beast, but unfortunately the icy waters swallowed them both. It is said that at the bottom of the lake we can see a silhouette that recalls that of a man, perhaps the prince of this tale.