Saturday, July 1

the story of the pierced mountain

Once upon a time, many years ago on the 2nd July, the Madonna and the Devil were on holiday together in Positano. The beach was very crowded, so they decided to go for a stroll in the mountain pathways near the Village-above-Pos, admiring the wonderful views along the way.
But while they were walking they started to argue. The Devil said that he was stronger than Madonna, but she disagreed and insisted that she was the strongest. Now, instead of sitting down and having an arm wrestling contest, which would have been the sensible thing to do, one of them came up with the idea of punching a hole through the mountain.

So they stood side by side and started throwing punches at the mountain. The Devil made a small dent, and so did Madonna. They punched again, rock fell away, residents of the small village below dived into their houses and quaked in fear (presumably). The Devil threw one last mighty punch but his hand was now throbbing, so he slunk off to get some ice and bandages. Madonna threw another punch, and believe it or not her hand made an absolutyely enormous hole through the rock and came out wiggling the other side! Thole was so huge that you could drive a juggernaut through it...if there was a road there.

Well that proved it! Madonna was the strongest and her prize was to rule the world, and she got to banish that devil creature too. The locals were so happy that they changed the name of the Village-above-Pos to Montepertuso, Pierced Mountain. And every year on the 2nd July they throw a party in the village to celebrare the victory of the Madonna. They dress up in costumes and have a candlelight procession up to the hole where they then usually set the whole mountainside on fire with badly placed fireworks.
Or something like that.


  1. First, the fireworks are NOT badly put...there's a whole team of people working in those very mountains for up to a month prior to the feast, they clean the mountain and prepare the field for the fireworks that are indeed very beautiful.
    Second, you made a serious Church belief sound as a joke and that is not quite respectful of thousands of people, plus all your blogger friends scattered around the world will think it is an insane, ridiculous joke.
    Nobody wears any kind of costume, I think you are confused...they simply hold candles and some of them are elaborated ones, but they are all dressed alike, white and blue mostly.
    I am not what you would think a bigot church goer, no, in fact I haven't been to church in a long time but...certain traditions are being carried on since ages I think and I felt it right to rectify some of your fairy tale.
    You will excuse me, I am sure.
    Enjoy the fireworks tomorrow night!
    And keep writing, since I found your blog I can't stop reading and looking at all the wonderful pix you share.
    A friend.

  2. What a great story!

    I kept noticing fireworks coming from up there during the day, but I didn't realize they were for this - I just figured they were "practicing" for the Saint Vito festival!

    Several people have mentioned Montepertuso to me, but I have never visited. *adds to list of things to see next June* :-)

  3. Ancient girl power! :)
    what a cute story. We don't have stories like that about our towns - so in the end we don't have much to celebrate either. I want me some fireworks as well!

  4. yey! more stories more stories!!! what costume are you wearing?

  5. Yet again , sorry if I have offended anyone. I am sure the fireworks are very well placed, but there have been fires afterwards, I admit, probably due to the strong winds at the time.
    I am not making fun of your serious church belief. It never crossed my mind that this legend is a serious church belief. (If it is true, the Madonna must have extremely large hands, to make such a big hole.)
    I wrote this in the style of a fairy tale because that is pretty much how it was told to me many years ago, by a local. So sorry if my style offends or my facts are wrong.
    Auguri to everyone in Montepertuso tonight..

  6. Thanks to your suggestions Niki, I took the bus up to Montepertuso (well actually I got off on the wrong stop, Nocelle, then walked to Montepertuso). Now I know the story of the pierced mountian.

    The village of Montepertuso will always have a special place in my heart. It's not everyday (uhm, try never) that a random man gives me a rose while I wait for the bus.

  7. Ms Storey? Alias Beryl in the fourth form house play, to my Stanley?

    Drop me a mail! Christopher dot saul at sun dot com.


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