Growing up, I was always fascinated by Greek mythology and the Rick Riordan books, which locate these myths in the U.S. One thing I’d never considered, though, was that these stories had to be located in sites of the ancient world as well.
While visiting Siracusa, Professor Boyd pointed out this fountain of Arethusa. Arethusa was a nymph who was pursued by the river god Alpheus and ended up in Sicily from Greece, taking refuge in this fountain.
While Demeter was searching for her daughter Persephone, who’d been taken by Hades to the Underworld, she finds Arethusa in this fountain who gives her critical information to help her find her lost daughter.
I talked with Professor Boyd afterwards, and she said that sites of mythology have been tourist attractions for ages. Many places claim to be entrances to the Underworld or battle sites. This fountain didn’t draw too many visitors, but it’s cool to think that a river nymph might be hiding somewhere inside.