Saint of the Boreas

Santo della Borea
On the north side stands this powerfully-built, curly-haired young man, looking towards the West, while gesturing with his right hand as if talking to someone, perhaps the stream of people passing by below him. Yet while he talks, he seems to be distracted, and looks elsewhere. The Boreas, the icy cold wind that during the winter unexpectedly sweeps down from the mountain valleys, causing sudden drops in the temperature, blows on him. Boreas, according to ancient navigators, was the son of Astraeus, the Titan god of the stars, and of Eos, the dawn. His sons were Calaïs and Zetes, sailors who took part in the expedition of the Argonauts, the band of ill-fated dreamers who went in search of a golden fleece able to cure every evil. Now it is also known as the Tramontane (wind from across the mountains), and when Italian sailors lose their bearings, they say they have “lost the Tramontane”, that icy wind that chaps their faces, but which indicates the North, from which all other directions can be found, especially the one towards home.