Sunday, July 31, 2016

Haunted Island To Be Luxury Hotel?

It's located in a picturesque setting in the middle of the Venice Lagoon. An 18-acre haunted island that the Italian government wants to have developed as the site of a luxury hotel and resort.

Venetians think the place is evil, and they're not the only ones.

The Italian island of Poveglia was used as a quarantine location during the outbreak of the Plague in the 16th century. Thousands of dead and still-living victims were basically dumped on the island to be burned and in some cases simply left to rot. Estimates say that more than 100,000 people died on the island.

Hundreds of years later, in the 1920s, Poveglia was the site of a hospital for the insane where the doctor who built the facility reportedly tortured his patients. He eventually went insane himself and took his own life.

The island has been featured on The Travel Channel's Ghost Adventures which claimed a member of their cast/crew became possessed during the production of the episode. It was also on Scariest Places On Earth.

In 2014, the Italian government announced it would auction a 99-year lease on Poveglia in order to reduce their debt with the hope that someone would develop it as a luxury resort. A couple of months later it was auctioned off with the winner of the auction, an Italian businessman named Luigi Brugnaro, paying the equivalent of $700,000 US dollars for the 99 year lease.

A spokesman for Brugnaro said he had not yet decided what he would do with the island but wanted it to have some form of public use. It was estimated the restoration of the island's derelict buildings would cost around $28 million US dollars.

Of the surviving buildings on the island, the most visible is the bell-tower which dates back to the 12th Century. It was repurposed as a lighthouse in the 1800s.

The island consists of three separate parts. A bridge connects the island on which the buildings stand with the island that was taken over by trees and vegetation. The octagonal fort is on a third separate part next to the island with the buildings but not physically connected to it.


Ashantay said...

There is no freaking way I'd go anywhere near that island - and I love Venice and want to return some day!

Samantha Gentry said...

Ashantay: One of the articles I read about this island mentioned a photographer who went there a few years ago (2010 I think). He paid a boatman to take him over and back. The boatman (a local man, don't know where the photographer was from) dropped him off at the dock, refused to step foot on the island, and even refused to wait on his boat. He came back at an agreed upon time to pick up the photographer and warned him that if he wasn't at the dock the boatman would not wait for him to show up. I came across some pictures taken after Brugnaro bought the lease and they show scaffolding up around the hospital buildings which indicates some type of work being done. I wonder if those workers are local Venetians or imported from elsewhere.

Thanks for your comment.

Samantha Gentry said...

Andrea: Saw your comment about this Haunted Island blog, but it was posted as one of the comments on the previous blog (The Last Czar) which is where I responded to your comment.

Thanks for your comment.