And here we are: Today I present to you the Dreams & Chimeras Box! Next Surprise Box, first shipping on December 4th. Short time left!
The name I chose for this special Box takes inspiration from a historical epithet deriving from an ancient Sienese stornello. Speaking of legendary fantasies about the city of Siena, I would like to mention some of them precisely to immerse ourselves in the atmosphere of dreams and chimeras that that old popular song spoke of. There is a legend about a river, the Diana. Siena is not bathed by any river and since ancient times, an extensive network of underground aqueducts, called "bottini", served to bring water to the citizens.
Legend has it that, in the silence, you could hear the sound of flowing water, typical of a river. An underground river, the Diana, searched for several times and never found. Nowadays, water arrives in Siena through a modern aqueduct, while the ancient spoils can even be visited. Twenty-five kilometers of tunnels which in the Middle Ages were used to bring water to public sources. But it is not just a simple aqueduct.
Legend has it that the guerchi, the workers in charge of digging the tunnels by candlelight, ran away in daylight because they were frightened by some strange creatures that suddenly emerged from the bowels of the earth.
These beings, who were said to live right in the spoils, were the Omiccioli, good and dancing elves, and the Fuggisole, mischievous beings who launched blinding flashes before disappearing again into the darkness. Maybe it was simply too much wine that gave life to these visions...
By the way, in the James Bond movie, Quantum of Solace, the secret agent escapes right through the Bottini during the Palio race and then escapes across the Palazzo Pubblico on the roofs, until he breaks through the skylight of the Siena cathedral… very funny, I would have seen it from the window if it had been true.
So let's add another curiosity regarding the Cathedral of Siena, a masterpiece full of enigmas, emblems and philosophical messages.
Any local guide will be able to tell you that by patiently searching among the stones of the external left wall of the Cathedral, in front of the archbishop's palace, it is possible to find a very particular stone: the Sator palindrome, also known as the magic square.
It is a quadrangular stone on which 5 words are engraved, one under the other. Each is made up of 5 letters and can be read from left to right and vice versa. But also from top to bottom and in the opposite direction.
The words are: Sator, Arepo, Tenet, Opera, Rotas. While the word in the third line, Tenet, remains unchanged even in reverse, by writing the five words one after the other, the sentence remains the same, even if read backwards.
And have you ever heard of the devil's push?
Near the Cathedral there is also the steep staircase into which, according to a bizarre legend, the devil pushed Saint Catherine of Siena. The exact point of the fall is marked with a cross located on a tile of the staircase that leads to the door of the so-called New Cathedral, next to the baptistery.
It is said that the fall was quite violent, given that the nun lost her incisors due to this accident.
Secrets and mysteries aside, Siena is one of the most beautiful cities in Tuscany and I would dare say in all of Italy, a place rich in history, traditions and even curious legends.
Order the latest Surprise Box to discover something more!