Posted by raffa On August - 19 - 2014

A great deal has been said about Venice, indeed one of the most popular travel destinations in the world.
Over 30.000 tourists peacefully invade the city every year looking for some unexplored corners, for some hidden treasures, for something that has not yet been said about Venice.


Looking up to the sky in Venice

The question is: is there anything new that can still be said about Venice?
I think the answer is yes.

I have been recently intrigued by some alternative approaches to the city.
Apart from classic tours aimed at showing the most famous Venetian attractions (if it’s your first time in Venice I do recommend you to get one of them!), some paths through the lagoon city include more original detours that will allow you to discover some secret details that most tourists will not get the chance to experience.

Personally, I am very fond of stories and anecdotes related with ghosts and mysteries.
In virtue of its ancient history, its unique location and exclusive architecture, Venice excellently lends itself to be explored following the breadcrumbs of such tales.

If you, like me, are passionate about intriguing stories, be ready to discover a totally unknown city, what I call the dark side of Venice.

Let’s start with Cà Dario, one of the most famous haunted houses in the world.
Cà Dario is a magnificent palace, along the Grand Canal, built in the 13 century in the floral Venetian Gothic style and later renovated with Renaissance features.
Legend has it that the building is cursed: all its owners are doomed to die or get ruined. This murder chain seems to have started  back in the 15th century, whereas the most recent death took place in 1993, to confirm that the curse is still alive.

Let’s move on to another mysterious place: Casin de gli Spiriti, namely the “House of Souls”.
It is an elegant palace where violent events took place in the past. In particular, people say thah the ghost of Luzzo, a painter who killed himself in this house because of his impossible love for a certain Cecilia, Giorgione’s lover, is still wandering through the palace crying for his unrequited love.
You would probably like to know that not even Venetian fishermen dare to fish in the area.

Casin degli Spiriti

Casin degli Spiriti in the lagoon

Palazzo Mocenigo, a building in Gothic style in the sestiere of Santa Croce, is said to be infested by the ghost of Giordano Bruno. The philosopher was declared a heretic and executed to death in 1600 just after the charge of Giovanni Mocenigo, who had invited Bruno in Venice to be instructed by him, but was not satisfied with the teachings he had received.

Another “dark” building worth a visit is Palazzo Mastelli, also known as the “palace of the camel”.
It was built by 3 brothers, members of a wealthy family of Greek merchants, who tried to cheat a Venetian lady by selling her a low-quality fabric at very high prices. She discovered the fraud and cursed the money she had given them. When the brothers touched it, they instantaneously turned into stone statues: you can see them in the square just behind the building.
The palace was also theater of poltergeist phenomena so that an exorcism was made.

Beautiful corner in the floating city

Beautiful corner in the floating city

I do believe this type of tours could be an alternative way to approach the city of Venice provided that the best way to visit Venice is to get lost through its amazing labyrinth of calli, canals and campi.


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