Poveglia Island


There are places that have a dark history. In our time they are left, rumors and stories circulate around them — the island of Poveglia is a similar place. It has a chilling history that makes a strong case for the island to remain uninhabited. Who wants to live where thousands of people died, and not just died, but in fear, in terrible torment? I propose to plunge into the distant years and learn the history of this small Italian island!

Entry related to location: Venice

Start island’s history: in the South Lagoon, between Venice and the outdoor pool, is the small Italian island of Poveglia, which for many centuries was a refuge, a citadel, a place of exile and a dumping ground for the sick, dying and dead. In 421 Poveglia welcomed its first inhabitants — men, women and children — they fled from the barbarian invaders who ravaged the mainland. Its relatively small size made the island inaccessible and not worth launching an entire army on. For many centuries this small community lived in peace and avoided the laws and taxes of the mainland; however, their population dwindled, and by the 14th century, the island was abandoned.

In 1348 the bubonic plague arrived in Venice and Poveglia, like many other small islands, became a quarantine colony. The plague killed 1/3 of Europeans. Fearing the rampant spread of the disease, Venice exiled many of its citizens who showed even the slightest sign of the disease. It was a death sentence. In the center of the island, the dead and too sick were burned, they burned on giant bonfires. It was home to tens of thousands of Venetians dying on the mainland. These fires burned again in 1630 when the Black Death knocked again.

After the fires were extinguished, Napoleon’s military campaign ignored the ghostly legends of the island and the inaccessibility of its position in order to protect gunpowder and weapons.

In the late 1800s, the mentally ill lived here. The asylum was poorly built and was used as a place of exile rather than restoration. There are rumors that in the 1930s some doctor performed strange experiments on patients in these places; in the end the doctor went mad and threw himself from the high belfry of this building. Although the tower’s bell hasn’t sounded in a very long time, locals claim they can still hear it, echoing from the lonely island.

By the middle of the 20th century, the site was converted into a geriatric center, which closed in 1975. Today, the entire island is completely deserted and uninhabited; locals and tourists are banned from visiting it, and fishermen avoid the cursed place. In recent years, Italian construction teams have attempted to restore the hospital building, but have come to an abrupt halt without any explanation, leaving the locals wondering if the island’s dark forces might be affecting them.

Of course, from time to time some desperate thirsty person gets on the island, who wants to get a portion of adrenaline, thinking that he doesn’t care about everything, but even he admits that this is a terrible place. All visitors to this island feel fear of a cruel death, they refuse to visit Poveglia further, because a very difficult and unfriendly atmosphere reigns here. She seems to be breathing down your neck, shadows that are often seen here that move, screams and groans of people who were tortured by that same doctor, and all this makes it unbearable to stay on Poveglia.