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Folklore of Italy refers to the folklore and urban legends of Italy.
|Similar to Santa Claus||Befana||An old woman who delivers gifts to children if they have been good, coal if they have been bad throughout Italy on Epiphany Eve (the night of January 5); like Saint Nicholas or Santa Claus.|||
|Santa Lucia||A holy woman who delivers gifts to children of Bergamo and province on 13 December, again like Santa Claus.|||
|Creatures||Badalisc||A mythical creature of the Val Camonica, in the southern central Alps.|||
|Thyrus, the dragon of Terni||One of the most famous dragons of Italian folklore, a river dragon that besieged Terni in the Middle Ages. One day, a young and brave knight of the noble House of Cittadini, tired of witnessing the death of his fellow citizens and the depopulation of Terni, faced the dragon and killed it. From that day, the town assumed the creature in its coat of arms, accompanied by a Latin inscription: "Thyrus et amnis dederunt signa Teramnis" ("Thyrus and the river gave their insignia to Terni"), that stands under the banner of the town of Terni, honoring this legend.|||
|Seven-headed dragon||According to a popular legend, there was a dragon with seven heads which lived near Oltre il Colle (Bergamo province), devouring livestock and drinking water that would confer immortality. It was at first attacked in vain by rebellious farmers and hunters. It was then attacked by an army composed of the best soldiers of the armies of the small states of Italy and fled, defeated, into the water, which became the muddy and undrinkable water of the Fonte Drago ("Wellspring [of the] Dragon"), Oltre il Colle.
It is not the only monster in the area of Oltre il Colle: there is also a wicked maga ("sorceress" in Italian) to threaten it.
|Ferocious Beast||An enormous animal similar to a wolf. It ate pets and children and terrorized Milan during the 1790s and the Milanese organized a hunt against it. After months they killed the Ferocious Beast and displayed its body at the University of Pavia; but it is no longer there and has been missing for decades. Informal sources claim it was stolen, destroyed during World War II, or removed specifically by German actions during that war.|||
|Other||Egg of Columbus||Refers to a brilliant idea or discovery that seems simple or easy after the fact. The expression refers to a popular story of how Christopher Columbus, having been told that discovering the Americas was no great accomplishment, challenged his critics to make an egg stand on its tip.|
|Striga||A demon or creature, derived from the Corsican myth of the Stegge. It is a witch or sentient beast of mammalian features, and resembles a woman, bat, dog and rat. It is not an omen but rather a bringer of harm and fear. It is said be a female thing that feeds on the blood and often parasites men and children. It is a type of bogey beast, like vampires in Slavic mythologies and lore.|||
|Giufà||Referred to in some areas of the country. A "village fool", whose actions and words usually serve to provide a moral message.|||