Villa Foscari

Villa Foscari - Elisabetta Dolfin, the white lady

Villa Foscari, known as La Malcontenta, is a Venetian villa designed by Andrea Palladio in 1559. It is located in Malcontenta, a town near Mira in the province of Venice, along the Brenta Canal. It was built for the brothers Nicolò and Alvise Foscari, who belonged to one of the most powerful families of the Republic of Venice. The residence has a majestic, almost regal character, unknown to all other Palladian villas, to which the interior decoration by Giovanni Battista Zelotti and Battista Franco contributes.

But the splendid residence designed by Palladio also has its secrets and, like many ancient residences, can boast its own spectre. It is said that the ghost of Elisabetta Dolfin, wife of the nobleman Nicolò Foscari, haunts its rooms. She was accused in Venice of being a licentious, shameless and unfaithful lady, although she had always proclaimed her innocence.

Foscari exiled her to the beautiful villa that became his prison, probably not a gilded one at all, until his death. The park of the villa was uncultivated and overgrown with weeds and how she survived remains a mystery. No one ever brought her any food and no one ever lived with her in the villa; hypotheses and anecdotes circulate about these strange circumstances. After her disappearance, the white lady is said to have been spotted by those who frequented the villa, glimpsed for a few seconds in its rooms.

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Castello di Gropparello

Castle of Gropparello - The spectrum of Rosania Fulgosio

Today we take you to Piacenza, to discover one of the most famous haunted castles in Italy: the Gropparello Castle. It is a sumptuous complex of medieval origin that stands on a rocky spur overlooking the Vezzeno river.

Built in the Middle Ages in an elevated and protected position, like many other castles, it boasts a fascinating history linked to its many owners.

It was wanted by Charlemagne in 808, who saw in that point a strategic position of defense thanks to the stream.

Then, like many other castles in the area, it was the scene of clashes between Guelphs and Ghibellines. After having passed from hand to hand and having escaped numerous sieges, it passed to the Farnese family and, in 1869, to Count Ludovico Marazzani-Visconti. The count ordered some renovations and the current appearance of the building is due to the work of the architect Guidotti.

Legend has it that the castle is haunted by ghosts: the restless souls of the many soldiers who fell in the battles in defense of the castle. But not all of them are soldiers. A ghost seems to be that of Rosania Fulgosio, young wife of Pietrone da Calcagno, lord of the castle who left her alone when he left for the war. Left alone, Rosania found an old love. But unfortunately her husband returned, discovered the lovers and punished his wife in a cruel way: he built a little room without doors or windows, where he locked Rosania up until the end of her days. It is said that the poor unhappy bride can still be heard moaning and crying in the night, in search of the much desired peace and lost love.

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santa radegonda

Cloister of Santa Radegonda - The ghost of Bernarda Visconti

The monastery of Santa Radegonda was, together with the church of the same name, a Milanese Benedictine monastery. The complex was suppressed and partially demolished in 1781 to make way for the current Via Santa Radegonda. At the height of its beauty, it was truly grandiose, with four cloisters that included San Raffaele and San Simplicianino. The church was double, according to monastic custom, and it is said to have contained numerous relics. A splinter of the True Cross, a Thorn of the Crown of Christ and a fragment of the veil of Mary and Mary Magdalene.

Despite the building's decline, it holds many curious stories and even boasts its own ghost.
The ghost in question, who would have become famous for his deeds and for the many stories handed down from generation to generation, would be that of Bernarda Visconti, famous "white lady" from Milan.

Bernarda Visconti, daughter of Bernabò Visconti, after her marriage with a man she hated, soon began to look for "distractions". And she found them in a young man who, it is said, immediately reciprocated her feelings.

But the story did not remain secret for long as the two lovers hoped. Bernabò accused the boy of theft, who was forced to confess a crime he had never committed under torture and then publicly hanged. Bernarda's punishment was no less. She was in fact condemned to die of hunger in the darkest of the slammer, guilty of adultery.

All this pain would explain the reasons for so much pain and suffering, told by those who have witnessed the manifestation of her spectrum. All those who have seen her have reported to have noticed the same details: a tiny silhouette, wrapped in a dark cloak, an emaciated face, pale as the moon, brown hair streaked with tawny.

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Palazzo Ducale di Mantova

Ducal Palace - The ghost of Agnese Visconti

The Ducal Palace of Mantua, also known as the Gonzaga palace, is one of the main historical buildings of the city. It was famous for being from 1308 the official residence of the lords of Mantua, the Bonacolsi, and then the main residence of the Gonzaga, lords, marquises and finally dukes of the Virgilian city.

Each duke wanted to add a wing for himself and for his own works of art. The result is an area of more than 35,000 square meters that make it the sixth largest palace in Europe. It is right after the Vatican palaces, the Louvre Palace, the Palace of Versailles, the Royal Palace of Caserta and the Castle of Fontainebleau.
Like all historical buildings that have crossed the centuries, the Ducal Palace also boasts its secrets, its anecdotes and above all ... its ghosts.

In what is now Piazza Pallone, the courtyard of the Ducal Palace, a plaque commemorates the sad death of Agnese Visconti. She was the unfortunate wife of Francesco I Gonzaga, who was unjustly tried by him on false charges of adultery. The accusations were based on the presumed adultery of Agnese with the knight Antonio da Scandiano. The sentence for both was inevitable: the death penalty. And so it was that on the morning of February 7, when she was only 28 years old, Agnese was beheaded while Antonio was hanged.

It is said that the ghost of the young girl still wanders in these parts and there are many who claim to have heard the cry of a woman passing in the square. While others claim to have seen at night, between the windows of the Castle and the Palace, a sort of ghostly light that went up and down between the rooms.

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palazzo reale

Royal Palace of Naples - Famous ghosts

Today we want to talk to you about ghosts, Neapolitan ghosts, which are said to dwell in a famous building. The Royal Palace of Naples.

The Royal Palace of Naples is an ancient building located in Piazza del Plebiscito. It was the historical residence of the Spanish viceroys for over one hundred and fifty years, of the Bourbon dynasty from 1734 to 1861, and, following the Unification of Italy, of the Savoy.

The palace was built starting from 1600, to reach its final appearance in 1858. It is centuries and centuries of history, in whose folds lurk many curiosities. Like many ancient buildings, in fact, this building also boasts its legends and especially its ghosts. There are two ghosts in particular that are said to dwell in its rooms.

The first ghost, which is probably the most famous one, seems to be that of Maria Carolina di Borbone, wife of Ferdinand II of Naples. She used to give sumptuous banquets in the halls of the Royal Palace, and it seems she never wanted to leave these halls. It is said that on certain nights strange voices, whispers and whisperings are heard.
The second ghost, that someone claims to have seen entering and leaving the Royal Palace, would be that of Father Rocco. This was a Dominican monk who lived in the 1700's, whose wax statue can be seen at the museum of San Martino.

Father Rocco wore the Dominican habit with the name of Gregory, living for sixty-four years in the Convent of the Holy Spirit of the Palace and doing his best for orphans, the unemployed and street children. Esteemed and respected by the people, he was also well-liked by the sovereigns, and for this reason he freely entered the Royal Palace and was even militarily greeted by the sentries.

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fantasma di Azzurrina

Castle of Montebello - The ghost of Azzurrina

The legend of the ghost of Azzurrina, who is said to dwell in the castle of Montebello di Torriana, is based as often happens on a true story.

Born around 1370, Azzurrina would have been the daughter of Ugolinuccio or Uguccione di Montebello, feudal lord of Montebello di Torriana. She would have died prematurely on June 21, 1375, the day of the summer solstice.
It is said that she was an albino child and that her mother decided to periodically dye her hair black. However, since she dyed it with extremely volatile pigments of vegetable nature, these, accomplice the scarce ability of albino hair to retain the pigment, had given to the hair of the child blue reflections like her eyes. This is the origin of her nickname "Azzurrina".

It is said that on June 21, 1375, while her father was away from his residence, Azzurrina, always guarded by two soldiers, was playing in the castle of Montebello di Torriana with a ball of rags while a storm was raging outside. According to the subsequent account of the guards, the little girl would have chased the ball that had fallen from the stairs inside the underground ice-house, with the intention of recovering it. After that, she literally disappeared into thin air and no trace of her or the ball was ever found again. The storm would have ceased with the disappearance of Azzurrina.

Since then, the ghost of the little girl returns to make her voice heard every five years, coinciding with the fall of the summer solstice.
The solstice of 1990 became famous. The Castle of Montebello had been open to the Museum for only one year, nevertheless, the legend was already in the public domain. There were those who blindly supported it, those who contested it, those who feared it, but everyone talked about it. On June 21, sound technicians interested in these episodes made the first recordings through the use of sophisticated equipment. All frequencies were recorded. In the studio, it was decided to proceed to listening: thunder, a violent downpour of rain, then ... a sound.

Even today, those who listen to those recordings have different reactions. Some claim to hear the cry of a little girl, others a laugh, many say they hear a voice, distinguish a word, many others claim to hear nothing more or less than wind and rain in the storm. The ghost of Azzurrina, however, does not stop talking about itself.

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The black lady

The Black Lady - The spectre of Parco Sempione

Parco Sempione, the most famous and largest park in Milan, is a 15th century park located near the famous Castello Sforzesco. In this very popular place, you will find several sculptures and buildings. Ancient palaces that gave luster to the artistic and cultural history of Milan. But here it is said that there is also a disturbing presence: the Black Lady.

According to legend, it is the spectre of a mysterious lady, who would appear, especially on summer, with her face hidden by a black veil, walking alone all through the park. Who met her, tells she has a doded attitude and does not like to attract attention. It even seems that if she is somehow annoyed or disturbed, she disappears and does not show up for several days.

But some stories are much more gloomy. Other versions tell that on fog nights, when Parco Sempione is deserted, happen to smell an intense flavour of violets. A beautiful woman wrapped in a long black dress and a dark veil covering her face would approach you, handing her frosty hand. Then, she would drag you along hidden paths of the park, into an increasingly dense fog, to a misterious large mansion.

Inside this mansion the Dama would allow herself to the poor visitors and then show them the face: a skull with empty orbits, which would make them run away. Legend tells that men who have been victims of the Dame lose their minds and are leaded to madness. They would spend the rest of their lives trying to find the dark lady's mansion.
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