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Myths and legends

 

La lisca
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Lastra's folklore

Many of the legends told by the people of Lastra talk about the Gonfolina rock, or Masso delle Fate (the rock of the fairies). According to folk tradition, it is inhabited by mischievous fairies and cannot be violated. The farmers say chisels break when they hit the stone and that the German troops did not succeed in blowing it up.

Other stories say the Gonfolina gorge was created by Hercules. After accomplishing his tenth labour, he returned from Spain and stopped in Tuscany, where he decided to settle. He became king and committed to improving the living conditions of the people. So, he decided to reclaim the land from the waters of the Arno that had invaded the plains. He did this by destroying the natural dam that prevented the waters from flowing, hence the Gonfolina gorge was created.

An early-Christian legend links the origin of Malmantile's name to Saint Ambrose, who stayed at an inn near the hamlet.

While speaking to the innkeeper, Ambrose inquired about his condition. The man replied that God had done well by him, granting him a life without worries. Ambrose was quite surprised, as his hospitality had been poor. He left the inn soon after, claiming that God was not present in that place. As he was leaving he cast a curse on the inn: "Mala Mantilia!" (damned tablecloth), and the inn immediately fell into a crevice. An inscription on a stone attached to a tabernacle located outside the walls of Malmantile mentions this legend.

The name of the ward of Lisca can be traced back to the large fish bone (lisca) of a whale that hangs under the sloping roof of a house located here.