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Cathedral of St. Cyriac – The legend of the Calmucco

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The legend of the Calmucco is behind the birth of an ancient custom widespread in Ancona: that of children putting their hands inside the jaws of the stone lions on either side of the Duomo portal. It all originated centuries ago, when Calmucco, a famous medieval pirate, entered the city one night with the intention of seizing the lions of the Duomo, one of Ancona's most precious symbols. When the pirate began to tamper with the sculptures, however, it is said that they came alive and bit his hands off, severing three of his fingers. Terrified, the Calmucco ran away at breakneck speed. Since then, the children of Ancona have been putting their hands into the lions' jaws. The test serves to confirm that they are 'good'.

Cathedral of St. Cyriac – The legend of the Calmucco

Piazzale del Duomo, 9, 60121 Ancona AN, Italy

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