Hidden treasures

Poveglia, the ill-fated island in the Venetian Lagoon

Unknown places & works

Poveglia, the ill-fated island in the Venetian Lagoon

These days everyone is talking about the news of the Venetians vigorous fight to save Poveglia, a small island in the lagoon of Venice, close to Venice Lido. There are speculation fears about private entrepreneurs intentions on the island, which for many centuries was linked to the fate of the Republic of Venice.

The island also had a strong and strategic importance during the war of Chioggia, (that broke out in 1379 between the two maritime republics of Genoa and Venice) as it was used as a military outpost. All civilians who lived there were 'politely asked' to leave it to make way for the various arms: the island was never inhabited again until in 1700 it became a hospital for the many victims of the plague in order to prevent the spread of infection in the city. The patients died in large numbers, as evidenced by the numerous human remains that are often found when digging on the island.

Over the years many legends were born regarding the island and its dead, all linked to some sort of malevolent essence which has supposedly permeated it, and perhaps that is why in 1922 a hospital for the elderly and sick people, who no one else wanted to look after, was created.

Francesca, a licensed guide in Venice and the author of this fascinating article, will be happy to share this story and many other curious anecdotes about this charming city: history, legends and mysteries of Venice in an exclusive private tour!

By Insidecom Editorial Staff

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