Doge Pietro Tradonico and the Island of Poveglia in the Venice lagoonHistorical Curiosities
Doge Pietro Tradonico and the Island of Poveglia in the Venice lagoon
The Island of Poveglia, in the Venice lagoon, is considered by paranormal experts as one of the world’s most haunted places, normally alluding to the recent past of the island, when it used to be home to a mental hospital. But its 'curse' began long before and goes back to the beginning of Venice’s history!
This is in fact where, in 864, the families of the 200 faithful servants of Doge Pietro Tradonico settled. Following the tumults sparkled by the killing of Tradonico, his loyalists had obtained from his successor, Tradonico’s successor Orso I Partecipazio, the gift of lands and valleys, under the obligation of having to carry out an annual census and swearing allegiance to him on the second day of Easter, and the benefit of being governed by a ducal ambassador supported by 27 local councillors.
An Istrian native noble, Doge Pietro Tradonico immediately sought to place Venice’s Republic under the protection of the Carolingian Empire. This brought him fierce opposition from local notables, so he was stabbed to death on 13 September, 864, on his way out of the Mass for the anniversary of the consecration of the Church of San Zaccaria. Since then, this place came to be deemed ill-omened and building work on it was banned, until the owners of the Danieli Hotel on Riva degli Schiavoni decided, soon after the end of the Second World War, that the curse had lasted long enough and built on it a new wing for their hotel !
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