Fairytales are a big part of many of our childhoods.
Everyone has probably heard of Pinocchio; the fairytale about a wooden boy whose nose grew longer each time he told a lie. However, were you aware that this was a fairytale that originated in Italy? I certainly wasn’t.
After realizing this, I decided to try and look for other Italian fairytales that were equally as interesting and I was not disappointed!
As such, I have come up with a list of 5 interesting Italian fairytales (click on the title for the full stories), other than Pinocchio, that you can try out too:
Written by: Édouard René Lefèbvre de Laboulaye
A moving and intriguing tale from start to end. The beauty of this fairytale is truly found in the displays of pure familial love between Graceful and his grandmother. Though it may be a short read, readers will surely find themselves constantly rooting for young Graceful on his long and arduous journey to the Castle of Life.
Story premise: This fairytale revolves around a young boy, Graceful, and his grandmother. Sensing that her life was about to near its end, Graceful’s grandmother decides to prepare him for a future where she is no longer around.
She reassures him that he will never be alone as he will have the help of 2 powerful fairies - The Fairy of the Woods and The Fairy of the Waters who were able to grant him anything he wishes of them.
Rather than wishing for an abundance of money or power, Graceful surprises his grandmother by asking for her to gain immortality. To achieve this, Graceful was told to journey to the Caste of Life and find the Fountain of Immortality.
However, this journey was by no means easy as the trials and distractions along the way could potentially lead far away from his intended path if he was not careful.
Written by: Thomas Fredrick Crane
Although The Cloud is a rather simple read, the tale of the young man does not simply end with a “Happily ever after” the moment he destroys The Cloud. With its fair share of ups and downs, readers are faced with added layers of suspense and excitement within the story as well!
Story premise: The story follows a young boy (nameless) who decides to leave his home to pursue his dream of exploring the world around him.
Along the way, he meets a lion, an eagle, and an ant fighting over a dead donkey who they all want to consume. The young boy resolves this situation by dividing the donkey parts in a manner that was pleasing to the three animals.
In return for solving their dilemma, each of the animals grants him the ability to transform into their animal forms if he ever needed to.
These transformations soon come in handy when he comes across The Cloud- a menacing fairy who intended to kill young girls and drink their blood to survive. As such, he vows to save the princess of the land and the rest of the captured girls by going on a heroic journey to destroy The Cloud.
Written by: Stories from the Pentamerone
The Enchanted Doe is a heartwarming read which showcases the strong bonds and kinship between 2 brothers, no matter how far apart they may be. While providing an interesting and well-developed story to readers, valuable life lessons can also be learned from this tale- making it worth a read!
Story premise: The Enchanted Doe starts by introducing the King of Long-Trellis, Giannaone. His desires to have children are finally met after going through leaps and bounds to ensure that they are born.
This leads to the birth of the 2 twin brothers, Fonzo and Canneloro, who are seen to inseparable and who loved each other dearly. However, the Queen soon became jealous of their affection for one another and attempted to kill Canneloro so that Fonzo could eventually become the King’s heir, just as she desired.
Reluctantly, Canneloro decides to leave his brother and leaves him with a fountain that would allow Fonzo to always be aware of his brother’s well-being, even when they are separated.
Canneloro soon becomes a prince in another land. However, he is soon faced with danger when he fails to heed the warnings given to him about a dangerous ogre he would meet if he were to go hunting in the woods.
Written by: Thomas Frederick Crane
If you’re looking for a lighthearted and very easy read, this is the fairytale for you! Though the premise of the story is rather silly and short, it makes a good bedtime story for children that will surely get them laughing the whole way through.
Story premise: A little woman whose hen laid an egg decides to make an omelet out of it. Along the way, a fly comes and eats the whole omelet up!
A whole bunch of shenanigans ensues as the little woman seeks advice on how to deal with the situation if it ever arises again.
Written by: Thomas Fredrick Crane
A light read that will have readers swooning over the love between Lionbruno and Fairy Colina. Coupled with vivid imagery, the story becomes both magical and suspenseful at just the right moments, making it an exciting read.
Story premise: While he was fishing, a man suddenly comes face to face with a being known as The Enemy. Due to his poor background, he decides to make a deal with The Enemy by selling his next child in return for a large sum of money to become wealthy. The man thought that he was able to outsmart The Enemy as he planned not to have any more children. However, his next child, Lionbruno, was soon born to the delight of The Enemy. Just as Lionbruno was about to succumb to The Enemy’s possession, he is saved by the beautiful fairy Colina and grows up under her care instead. He is soon fated to become her husband but the trials and obstacles along the way are seen to make their process of marriage a rather difficult one.
The best part of this list lies in the fact that these are only just a few of the Italian fairytales that exist. Tons of other Italian tales and collections of stories are still waiting to be read.
From storybooks or movies about princesses and “Happily ever afters” to great adventures taken on by heroic characters, fairytales never fail to provide a magical experience for people of all ages.
Valuable lessons are taught to us through these tales which may have helped to set the foundation for our morals from a young age. Most importantly, fairytales bring out the inner child within us (no matter our age) and help to provide that escape from reality when we need it.
I hope that this list helps to provide you with refreshing new stories that your children will enjoy listening to. Hopefully, it would have brought out the inner child within you once again too!