The Legends of Trentino: King Laurino
Very few areas of Italy can boast such a wide variety of myths and legends as Trentino. Every corner of the woods, every rock and every tree is in some way related to a story about leprechauns, elves and fairies. And it doesn’t matter whether you’re an adult or a child, here you’ll find ‘another dimension’ where you can lose yourself in a fantastic world of make-believe.
The legends, traditions and costumes from Trentino are the subject of the Entnography Festival which takes place every year in San Michele all’Adige where, apart from the legends, you can also re-discover antique toys and traditions.
The Legend of King Laurino
One of the most well known and best loved legends from Trentino is that of King Laurino. Many years ago, this king ruled the dwarf people who lived around the Catinaccio mountain. In winter and right up to late spring you can see a basin shaped mark on the sides of this solid and majestic mound, which is constantly covered in snow. It is right here that King Laurino had his rose garden. That’s why, in German, the Catinaccio is callled Rosengarten which means ‘the garden of the roses’.
One day, the King of Adige decided to marry off his daughter so he invited all the noblemen in the area, apart from King Laurino, to a tournament of horsemanship in May, to celebrate the event. King Laurino, who was rather offended, decided to take part anyway using his magic cape that made him invisible and his magic belt that gave him the power of 12 men. He was certainly a force to be reckoned with, for any enemy.
Dazzled by the beauty of Similde, the king’s daughter, King Laurino decided to kidnap her, but a group of the king’s horseman soon turned up at Rosengarten ready to fight him and return Similde to her father.
Realising just how dangerous the situation was, King Laurino decided to put on the belt that gave him the strength of 12 men and his invisibilty cape and try and escape through the garden. The horseman were still able to find him though, thanks to the trail of trampled roses that he left in his wake.
They managed to capture him and feeling betrayed by his rose garden, he cursed it so that no-one else would be able to admire its beauty, by day or by night. He forgot to mention sunrise and sunset in his curse though so every day, twice a day, the Catinaccio mountain is illuminated by a pink light that is truly breathtaking.