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Legends of Naples: the impossible love between Posillipo and Nisida

Did you know that Naples has thousands of magnificent legends? Many of them are related to ancient mythology and many are just the mirror of how Neapolitan are: passionate and loving. In particular, among the legends of Naples, there is one telling about the impossible love between the beautiful Nisida and the young Posillipo.

Posillipo and Nisida: legends of Naples

In particular, Posillipo, according to what writer Matilde Serao tells in her book, was a good, docile boy. Loved by the people that surrounded him – unfortunately, or maybe by gods’ will – Posillipo met a girl named Nisida. She was a vision and he immediately fell in love with this simple country girl.

However, despite her sweet appearance, the girl’s soul was cold and mean. She was well aware of her beauty and the effect it had on people, so she used the beauty she had been gifted to make men fall in love with her.

Nisida actually condemned those who loved her to the desperation of unrequited love. Unscrupulous, the girl reserved this treatment to Posillipo as well. The boy devastated at the view of the woman he couldn’t have, eventually toke his life away throwing himself among the waves of the sea.

Near but far away: Posillipo hill and the island of Nisida

It might seem a desperate ending, but the story is not finished yet! After some time the gods decided to transform both the girl and the boy in two entities: the hill of Posillipo and the island of Nisida.


Nisida – artwork by Antonio Salatiello

If Posillipo was destined to receive visitors from all over the world for its beauty, Nisida has a different destiny. Even if incredible beautiful, the island was going to become an obscure and unsafe place, not accessible to an admiring audience. Today, the island hosts a youth-detention facility.

Nisida and Posillipo are close, but even if they will admire each other forever they will never meet again.

Did you like the legend of Posillipo and Nisida? Keep following our blog for more of these stories!

legends of naples