Poveglia lies in a lagoon between Venice and Lido. The Italian government has put the now-deserted property up for sale and will be auctioning it off to the highest bidder on May 6th. But beware: as I’m sure a grizzled fisherman/prophet will appear to tell any prospective bidders, the island comes with a gruesome history.
Poveglia’s past has been obsessively chronicled by numerous “ghost hunting” shows and websites which, to be fair, are probably not the most historically accurate sources of information. During the Roman Era the island was used to quarantine plague. When the Black Death came through Europe centuries later, Poveglia was once again used as a dumping ground, and anyone suspected to be sick was taken to the island and burned. An estimated 160,000 people died on the island during that time, so get ready to have a lot of
If that isn’t an eerie enough backstory to convince you to get your AmEx out, in 1922 the island was also turned into a mental hospital. According to one website – which, again, may not be the definitive source of historical information — inmates on the “Island of Madness” reported seeing thousands of ghosts. One of the hospital’s doctors jumped or was pushed from the island’s belltower (which incidentally, would probably make a lovely breakfast nook) and a nurse on the island at the time reported that the doctor actually survived the fall but was then killed by a mist that arose from the earth to swallow him up. The hospital was then closed down. Good call there.
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