The Legend of Bella Antonella: Unraveling an Italian Folklore Tale

Salerno holds a romantic legend about Antonella that goes back centuries.

Antonella was one of the bridesmaids for Queen Margherita of Durazzo. One day upon his return from war, Ladislaus stopped by with several warriors including Raimondo; these then met Antonella by a nearby fountain where they fell passionately in love with one another.

An envious damsel accused Antonella of not being worthy to marry Raimondo due to her humble background and advised Ladislaus to imprison the girl at San Michele monastery before heading into battle against Ramon.

Two years later, in recognition of Raimondo’s gallantry, King Carlo VIII granted him permission to marry Antonella.

As the plague spread, Queen Margherita fell seriously ill during 1412, Raimondo and Margherita raced to her bedside where Margherita revealed to Raimondo that Antonella was no longer Antonella but had been replaced with Vanna to marry Raimondo instead of Antonella; Antonella laid near where Vanna lay next to Queen Regina who died peacefully in Raimondo’s arms just seconds before.

Raimondo had lost all his possessions and became confused; playing his doublet, he began roaming aimlessly through town before venturing off into the mountains and valleys in search of his lover.

Near the ruins of the castle is still the fountain where two young lovers first met each other. According to legend, if a girl in August wets her lips and whispers the formula (Anima della fontanella di Margherita; Queen bella; Antonella’s tears betrayed by an unfaithful hunting partner); scoop some water then drop six drops (representing Antonella’s tears); when picking them back up again she may experience fulfillment of their love dreams.

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