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Around 590 the monk Colombano decided to leave his native Ireland and move across Gallia first, then Germany and then Italy. He fell completely in love with the Italian sky and, receiving as a gift from the King Agilulfo a part of the Bobbio territories, he founded the famous monastery on the Trebbia River. With charity and miracles, he gained the heart of believers and incredulous.

One day Colombano thought about build a bridge on the Trebbia River. Unluckily he could not make up the needed amount of money to carry out the construction. In this moment the Devil appear. “If you” he said “promise me to give me the first soul who will cross the bridge, I will help you in building it!”

“The first “being” that will cross the bridge will be yours!” whispered the monk.

Therefore, the Devil, sure that he won his rival, began to work; when it was finished, Colombano threw a piece of bread on the bridge and he sent there a dog that was with him. The Devil gnashed his teeth, and on fire for anger, he looked for the creator of the hateful trick. 

He saw the monk; he followed him and began swearing at him, while Colombano patiently followed his own way, as the Devil was not there. Therefore, the Devil got more and more angry and kept on cursing badly.

When they reached the path that takes to the Penice Mount, they met a woman with some rice in her apron. Without saying a word, Colombano took a handful of it and threw it against his harasser. The grains of rice, instead of hit the Devil, converted in black stones that getting together creates scary cavern, which stick out that much that almost fell down!

These black rocks still here and they are called the “Devil’s Stones”. 

(Based on: Maria Cristina CitroniLeggende e racconti dell’Emilia Romagna)


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Home > Stories > Miracles and legends > THE STONES OF THE DEVIL