The Haunted Island

“Legend has it that Venetians avoid it

because it is full of ghosts”

Legend has it that Venetians avoid it because it is full of ghosts. The consecutive decisions did not help much to keep perpetuating his fame since back in the early 30’s, in an attempt to re-run island, a psychiatric was set up in Poveglia. Legends penetrated among the Venetians; like how the church bells were ringing at midnight, or the savage experimenting and all kids of torture on patients performed by the director of the asylum. Popular voices say that the ghosts dwelling in Poveglia also entered the mind of the institution’s head and his taken by his own madness jumped from the tower of the hospital.

This almost 7 hectares of hexagonal island is located between the historic center of Venice and Lido, and has been deserted since the late 1970’s. Previously, it was the site of a hospital, and in earlier times, it served as a confinement station for plague victims; hence its nickname ‘Island of the Dead’ since its estimated that more than 1,000,000 human died on the island over the centuries.

The unhabituated island in the Venice Lagoon, reputed to be haunted, could become a self-governed public resort if a local campaign group succeeds in its bid to buy it from the Italian state. Cash strapped Italian authorities put it up for auction in May 2014, offering a 99-year-lease on it, to help cut Italy’s massive debt pile. Despite the 4000 citizens who participated in the crow funding campaign the sum they achievde was not enough to bit the private investors; however neither were the 513.000€ the temporary employment agency Umana Spa offered. So for now the island remains in the hands of the Italian state, a situation the association ‘Poveglia per tutti’ takes advantage to start the voluntary cleanup and restoration to make it eventually accessible to the public.