The Fata Morgana Legend

The Fata Morgana Legend

The legend…

A legend widely spread throughout the Strait area tells that during the barbarian invasions in August, while the sky and the sea were without a breath of wind, and a slight mist veiled the horizon, a horde of conquerors after crossing the whole peninsula arrived on the banks of the current city of Reggio, finding itself in front of the strait that divides Calabria from Sicily.

A few kilometers on the other shore there was an island – Sicily – with a great smoking mountain – Mount Etna – and the Barbarian King asked how to reach it, finding himself without boats, so helpless in front of the sea.

Suddenly a wonderfully beautiful woman appeared, who offered the island to the conqueror, and with a gesture made her appear a few steps away from him. Looking in the water he saw clear the mountains of the island, the beaches, the country roads and ships in the port, as if he could touch them with his hands.

Exulting the Barbarian King he jumped off his horse and threw himself into the water, sure he could reach the island with a couple of strokes, but the spell broke and the King drowned miserably.

Everything was in fact a mirage, a play of light of the beautiful and unknown woman, who was none other than the Fata Morgana.


Fata Morgana is one of the optical phenomena in the natural field, one of the rarest and most extraordinary. Scientifically we distinguish four types of “Fata Morgana”:
• Simple Morgana, or Sottomarina;
• Morgana centupla, or Multiple;
• Morgana Gasforme, or Atmospheric;
• Mixed Morgana, or Iris frieze.

The “Simple” comes true when the wave mirror reflects the objects standing on the bank individually, simply and without multiplying them.

The “Centupla”, when the repercussions occur by multiplying the same objects and showing now from one point, now from another of the surrounding places always centuplicated.

The “Gasforme” happens in the case where the images are shown in the air, or when the banks of the opposing Reggio are too close to those of Messina.

The “Mixed” occurs when the images are simultaneously observed by the sea and the air, adorned and surrounded by the colors of the iris.

The optical phenomenon is still perceptible today in the Strait of Messina, on particularly hot and sultry days.

Do you want to try to see the phenomenon? Come to our B & B and Guest House in Reggio Calabria 😀

B&B Reggio Calabria centro – Guest House Via Marina

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