The iron door and the sleeping Giant

There is an ancient legend of Monti della Laga, well brought in the works of the great historian of Sulmona, Giovanni Pansa, that narrates one of the most enchanting histories of the popular traditions. There is a treasure, hidden in the hollow of the mountain, that  is looked  by the devil in person. Whoever try to steal it, will come to a bad end. 


The history, of which numerous versions are known, begins always when a hunter of treasures decides to steal the gold and to challenge therefore the devil. Recently the legend has taken back notoriety thanks to the volume of stories "La porta di ferro", written by the journalist Nicola Catenaro and published in 2009 "Ricerche&Redazioni". "La porta di ferro" it is a synthesis of various versions, with the addition of a fanciful story and from the particularly grotesque and tragic contours. The story is settled in Gole del Salinello, one of the most suggestive places of the area. But so many are the suggestions that originate from the legends, from the beliefs and from the fantastic universe of the popular traditions. What fascinate, in all the stories,  is the mysterious and dark side of the mountain. But there are also yearning legends as that of Maya, the most beautiful of the Pleiadi, that it ran away from  Frigia to rescue the life of her only child Ermes, the giant born by her relationship with Zeus. After a long trip, she arrive among the Abruzzo mountains to look for a miraculous grass that would have been able to save her beloved child. But the mountain, rich of medicinal grass, was covered by snow, therefore every attempt of search was useless. Ermes died and Maya buried him on Gran Sasso, where today, whoever still observes the east mountain, can recognize the profile of the "Giant that sleeps." Also Maya, worn out from the weeping and the pain and after a long walk, died on the mountain that had welcomed her. Today the mountain takes its name from her in fact the mountain name is Majella.