Venice, romantic and fascinating city, also hides a dark side. The city of the Serenissima has a thousand-year history behind it; a history full of mysteries and legends. There are many mysterious places hidden in the various corners of the city, places linked to the secrets of the Templars, ghost stories, wizards and witches. Today we are going to discover 5 of these mysterious places hidden among the calli of Venice.
5. Campo dei Mori
In the Cannaregio district there is Campo dei Mori, a square characterised by the presence of four stone statues built into the wall of Palazzo Mastelli del Cammello. The statues are said to represent three brothers, called "Mori" (Moors) because they came from the kingdom of Morea, and one of their servants. Legend has it that the three brothers were dishonest merchants and bankers who had swindled a Venetian noblewoman, who prayed to Saint Mary Magdalene to put a curse on them. The three swindlers were thus turned into stone, to remind anyone passing by that divine justice always punishes sinners.
4. Casino degli Spiriti
The Casino degli Spiriti, located along Fondamenta Gasparo Contarini in Cannaregio, is actually part of the Palazzo Contarini dal Zaffo. The Casino degli Spiriti (Small house of the spirits), so called because it is believed to be a meeting place for spirits and where several corpses have been found, has always been considered a cursed place, since the 1500s. The most famous ghost that is said to have often appeared in its rooms was that of Luzzo, a 16th century painter who committed suicide because of unrequited love. Most of the legends linked to the palace are perhaps due to its isolated position and the sound of the undertow that at night, combined with the whistling of the wind, resembles a lugubrious howl.
The Poveglia island, a completely abandoned and uninhabited island, is located in the southern part of the Venetian lagoon. Because of its sinister past, the island is also known as the island of ghosts. In 1700, at the time of the Black Death, the island of Poveglia became a lazaret and thousands of bodies were burned and buried there. Over the following decades, various legends arose about the island, claiming it to be haunted by the restless souls of those who lived and died there. Moreover, the construction of a psychiatric hospital in 1922, which was dismantled in 1946, worsened the island's dark reputation. Brave tourists who still decide to visit the island today tell of mysterious happenings and disturbing noises.
2. Ca’ Dario
The magnificent Ca' Dario palace, overlooking the Grand Canal, is located in Dorsoduro and its fame precedes it, as it is known to be the "Cursed Palace". The legend linked to the elegant Venetian palace says that whoever buys the house is doomed to terrible misfortunes, as all those who owned the house died either by accident or by suicide. The palace is now owned by an American multinational, but no one lives there: better safe than sorry.
1. Le Colonne Acritane
The Colonne Acritane (Acritan Columns), from the city of Acre, were placed next to the south side of St Mark's Basilica after the conquest of the Asian city in 1266. The mystery surrounding the two columns concerns the monograms on them, which some claim that are messages to open a portal to another dimension, while others attribute the symbols to be linked with Freemasonry.