The Cyclopes

Between myth and reality, the Cyclopes narrate the millennial culture of Etna, with its vines cultivated in the lava stone terraces. Nerello Mascalese and Carricante are mountain vines whose hearts vibrate with the foam of the sea, which they watch from afar and whose scent they smell on cool summer evenings. According to Greek mythology, the Cyclopes inhabited the black lands of Mount Etna; sons of the god Hephaestus and endowed with only one eye, they worked in the belly of the volcano to build lightning bolts for Zeus and forge other magical works such as Achilles’ armor. Philostratus tells us that these men who reaped the crops and harvested the vines were the Cyclopes, for whom the earth produced its fruit spontaneously. The most famous among them, the Cyclops Polyphemus, was blinded by Odysseus on his return journey to Ithaca. According to Theocritus and Ovid, Polyphemus was hopelessly in love with Galatea, the froth of the sea, whom he glimpsed from afar from his cave carved out of lava rock.

These men harvesting the fields and gathering the grapes, my boy, neither ploughed the land nor planted the vines; but of its own accord the earth sends forth these its fruits for them; they are in truth Cyclopes, for whom, the earth shall produce its fruits spontaneously


They rely on the immortal gods: wheat, barley, and vines with their richly clustered grapes, grow there without ploughing or sowing, and rain from Zeus makes them flourish


Half of the mountain is mine, and the deep caves in the natural rock, where winter is not felt nor the midsummer sun. There are golden and purple grapes on the trailing vines