Arethusa was a nymph in Greek mythology, and a servant to the Goddess Artemis. Legend has it that one day the nymph, a lover of water, decided to plunge into a river, unaware of the presence of the God Alpheus of the Rivers, who was awakened by such a beauty. The nymph, became aware of his presence, and having sworn an oath of chastity to Goddess Artemis, tried to reject his enticements in every way.

But the God of the River was persistent, and assumed the form of a hunter to pursue Arethusa, even forcing her to flee as far as Sicily, where the nymph found refuge on a small island near Syracusa, named Ortigia.  Now, with her back to the wall, and no place to hide, the nymph asked Goddess Artemis to intervene, to save her from the clutches of Alpheus, and Artemis transformed the nymph Arethusa into a spring of pure water.

Even today it is possible to admire the beautiful Arethusa source in Ortigia, surrounded by splendid papyrus shrubs, and, if all elements are perfectly balanced, you can hear the song of the lost nymph.

– Art credit:  Alex Amoresano

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