18 October 2017

Poveglia: the haunted island


A suggestive, eerie place in the Venetian Lagoon


In addition to the colorful reflections of the stained glass that add marvel and artistic splendor to the alleyways of Murano, Burano and Torcello, the Venetian Lagoon also guards something obscure and mysterious, full of dark allure. We are talking about the dark side on the outskirts of Venezia, and its name is Poveglia.


An island that seems to hover over the so-called “Orfanello” (orphan) Canal, near Malamocco.

An oasis of puzzles and darkness.

A rare, black pearl.


Uninhabited, closed to the public and abandoned to erosion.

This island of 7.25 hectares is home to the ruins of antique buildings such as churches, a prison and lazzaretto.

Standing opposite is the Ottagono (Octagon), an artificial island that belongs to the defense system of the lagoon.

This place suspended in time, that seems to float on the lagoon mist, where wandering and suffering souls found shelter over the centuries, has now become famous for sightings of the supernatural and creatures from other worlds.


Those who have been bold enough to land on the shores of this island tell of finding themselves immediately cloaked in a rarefied atmosphere of darkness.

Some swear to have distinctly heard a little girl wailing, stricken by terror and solitude.

Others believe that the warmth of the multitudes of souls that have been buried, over the centuries, in this strip of land above water, turns into ectoplasms that fill the ruins of the old buildings at night.

And there are others who don’t want to forego the allure of mystery and the irrational, and tell of an unmistakable spooky sensation.


It is difficult to imagine what will be the future of this island, which has been waiting for redemption for so many years.

What is certain is that it will never succeed in freeing itself of the traces of its painful past.