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Italian Folktales

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Title: Italian Folktales  
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Subject: List of fairy tales, Italo Calvino, The Three Spinners, The Canary Prince, Bella Venezia
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Italian Folktales

Italian Folktales (Fiabe italiane) is a collection of 200 Italian folktales published in 1956 by Italo Calvino. Calvino began the project in 1954, influenced by Vladimir Propp's Morphology of the Folktale; his intention was to emulate the Straparola in producing a popular collection of Italian fairy tales for the general reader.[1] He did not compile tales from listeners, but made extensive use of the existing work of folklorists; he noted the source of each individual tale, but warned that was merely the version he used.[2]

He included extensive notes on his alterations to make the tales more readable and the logic of his selections, such as renaming the heroine of The Little Girl Sold with the Pears Perina rather than Margheritina to connect to the pears,[3] and selecting Bella Venezia as the Italian variant of Snow White because it featured robbers, rather than the variants containing dwarfs, which he suspected were imported from Germany.[4]

It was first translated into English in 1962; a further translation is by Sylvia Mulcahy (Dent, 1975) and constituted the first comprehensive collection of Italian folktales.[5]

List of tales

  1. Dauntless Little John (Giovannino senza paura; Fearless Giovannino [Johnny])
  2. The Man Wreathed in Seaweed (Riviera di Ponente) (L'uomo verde d'alghe; The man's green algae)
  3. The Ship with Three Decks (Riviera di Ponente (Il bastimento a tre piani)
  4. The Man Who Came Out Only at Night (Riviera di Ponente) (L'uomo che usciva solo di notte)
  5. And Seven! (Riviera di Ponente) (E Sette!)
  6. Body-without-Soul (Riviera di Ponente) (Corpo-senza-anima)
  7. Money Can Do Everything (Genoa) (Il denaro fa tutto)
  8. The Little Shepherd (Genoese hinterland) (Il pastore che non cresceva mai)
  9. Silver Nose (Langhe) (Naso d'argento)
  10. The Count's Beard (Bra)
  11. The Little Girl Sold with the Pears (Montferrat)
  12. The Snake (Montferrat)
  13. The Three Castles (Montferrat)
  14. The Prince Who Married a Frog (Montferrat)
  15. The Parrot (Montferrat) (Il pappagallo)
  16. The Twelve Oxen (Montferrat) (I dodici buoi)
  17. Crack and Crook (Montferrat)
  18. The Canary Prince (Turin)
  19. King Crin (Colline del Po)
  20. Those Stubborn Souls, the Biellese (Province of Biella)
  21. The Pot of Marjoram (Milan)
  22. The Billiards Player (Milan)
  23. Animal Speech (Mantua)
  24. The Three Cottages (Mantua)
  25. The Peasant Astrologer (Mantua)
  26. The Wolf and the Three Girls (Lake Garda)
  27. The Land Where One Never Dies (Verona)
  28. The Devotee of St. Joseph (Verona)
  29. The Three Crones (Venice)
  30. The Crab Prince (Venice)
  31. Silent for Seven Years (Venice)
  32. The Dead Man's Palace (Venice)
  33. Pome and Peel (Venice)
  34. The Cloven Youth (Venice)
  35. Invisible Grandfather (Venice)
  36. The King of Denmark's Son (Venice)
  37. Petie Pete Versus Witch Bea-Witch (Friuli)
  38. Quack, Quack! Stick to My Back! (Friuli)
  39. The Happy Man's Shirt (Friuli)
  40. One Night in Paradise (Friuli)
  41. Jesus and St. Peter in Friuli (Friuli)
  42. The Magic Ring (Trentino)
  43. The Dead Man's Arm (Trentino)
  44. The Science of Laziness (Trieste)
  45. Fair Brow (Istria)
  46. The Stolen Crown (Dalmatia)
  47. The King's Daughter Who Could Never Get Enough Figs (Rome)
  48. The Three Dogs (Romagna)
  49. Uncle Wolf (Romagna)
  50. Giricoccola (Bologna)
  51. Tabagnino the Hunchback (Bologna)
  52. The King of the Animals (Bologna)
  53. The Devil's Breeches (Bologna)
  54. Dear as Salt (Bologna)
  55. The Queen of the Three Mountains of Gold (Bologna)
  56. Lose Your Temper, and You Lose Your Bet (Bologna)
  57. The Feathered Ogre (Garfagnana estense)
  58. The Dragon with Seven Heads (Montale)
  59. Bellinda and the Monster (Montale)
  60. The Shepherd at Court (Montale)
  61. The Sleeping Queen (Montale)
  62. The Son of the Merchant from Milan (Montale)
  63. Monkey Palace (Montale)
  64. Rosina in the Oven (Montale)
  65. The Salamanna Grapes (Montale)
  66. The Enchanted Palace (Montale)
  67. Buffalo Head (Montale)
  68. The King of Portugal's Son (Montale)
  69. Fanta-Ghiro the Beautiful (Montale)
  70. The Old Woman's Hide (Montale)
  71. Olive (Montale)
  72. Catherine, Sly Country Lass (Montale)
  73. The Traveler from Turin (Montale)
  74. The Daughter of the Sun (Pisa)
  75. The Dragon and the Enchanted Filly (Pisa)
  76. The Florentine (Pisa)
  77. Ill-Fated Royalty (Pisa)
  78. The Golden Ball (Pisa)
  79. Fioravante and Beautiful Isolina (Pisa)
  80. Fearless Simpleton (Livorno)
  81. The Milkmaid Queen (Livorno)
  82. The Story of Campriano (Province of Lucca)
  83. The North Wind's Gift (Mugello)
  84. The Sorceress's Head
  85. Apple Girl
  86. Prezzemolina
  87. The Fine Greenbird
  88. The King in the Basket
  89. The One-Handed Murderer
  90. The Two Hunchbacks
  91. Pete and the Ox
  92. The King of the Peacocks
  93. The Palace of the Doomed Queen
  94. The Little Geese
  95. Water in the Basket
  96. Fourteen
  97. Jack Strong, Slayer of Five Hundred
  98. Crystal Rooster
  99. A Boat for Land and Water
  100. The Neapolitan Soldier
  101. Belmiele and Belsole
  102. The Haughty Prince
  103. Wooden Maria
  104. Louse Hide
  105. Cicco Petrillo
  106. Nero and Bertha
  107. The Love of the Three Pomegranates
  108. Joseph Ciufolo, Tiller-Flutist
  109. Bella Venezia
  110. The Mangy One
  111. The Wildwood King
  112. Mandorlinfiore
  113. The Three Blind Queens
  114. Hunchback Wryneck Hobbler
  115. One-Eye
  116. The False Grandmother
  117. Frankie-Boy's Trade
  118. Shining Fish
  119. Miss North Wind and Mr. Zephyr
  120. The Palace Mouse and the Garden Mouse
  121. The Moor's Bones
  122. The Chicken Laundress
  123. Crack, Crook, and Hook
  124. First Sword and Last Broom
  125. Mrs. Fox and Mr. Wolf
  126. The Five Scapegraces
  127. Ari-Ari, Donkey, Donkey, Money, Money!
  128. The School of Salamanca
  129. The Tale of the Cats (Taranto)
  130. Chick
  131. The Slave Mother
  132. The Sire Wife
  133. The Princesses Wed to the First Passer-By
  134. Liombruno
  135. Cannelora
  136. Filo d'Oro and Filomena
  137. The Thirteen Bandits
  138. The Three Orphans
  139. Sleeping Beauty and Her Children
  140. The Handmade King
  141. The Turkey Hen
  142. The Three Chicory Gatherers
  143. Beauty-with-the-Seven-Dresses
  144. Serpent King
  145. The Widow and the Brigand
  146. The Crab with the Golden Eggs
  147. Nick Fish
  148. Grattula-Beddattula
  149. Misfortune
  150. Pippina the Serpent
  151. Catherine the Wise
  152. The Ismailian Merchant
  153. The Thieving Dove
  154. Dealer in Peas and Beans
  155. The Sultan with the Itch
  156. The Wife Who Lived on Wind
  157. Wormwood
  158. The King of Spain and the English Milord
  159. The Bejeweled Boot
  160. The Left-Hand Squire
  161. Rosemary
  162. Lame Devil
  163. Three Tales by Three Sons of Three Merchants
  164. The Dove Girl
  165. Jesus and St. Peter in Sicily
  166. The Barber's Timepiece
  167. The Count's Sister
  168. Master Francesco Sit-Down-and-Eat
  169. The Marriage of Queen and a Bandit
  170. The Seven Lamb Heads
  171. The Two Sea Merchants
  172. Out in the World
  173. A Boat Loaded with…
  174. The King's Son in the Henhouse
  175. The Mincing Princess
  176. The Great Narbone
  177. Animal Talk and the Nosy Wife
  178. The Calf with the Golden Horns
  179. The Captain and the General
  180. The Peacock Feather
  181. The Garden Witch
  182. The Mouse with the Long Tail
  183. The Two Cousins
  184. The Two Muleteers
  185. Giovannuzza the Fox
  186. The Child that Fed the Crucifix
  187. Steward Truth
  188. The Foppish King
  189. The Princess with the Horns
  190. Giufa
  191. Fra Ignazio
  192. Solomon's Advice
  193. The Man Who Robbed the Robbers
  194. The Lions' Grass
  195. The Convent of Nuns and the Monastery of Monks
  196. The Male Fern
  197. St. Anthony's Gift
  198. March and the Shepherd (Marzo e il Pastore)
  199. John Balento
  200. Jump into My Sack


  1. ^ Italo Calvino, Italian Folktales p xvi ISBN 0-15-645489-0
  2. ^ Italo Calvino, Italian Folktales p xx ISBN 0-15-645489-0
  3. ^ Italo Calvino, Italian Folktales p 717 ISBN 0-15-645489-0
  4. ^ Italo Calvino, Italian Folktales p 739 ISBN 0-15-645489-0
  5. ^ Terri Windling, White as Ricotta, Red as Wine: The Magic Lore of Italy"


  • Chronology of Calvino's works
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