FFE Magazine

Spooky Italian island of Poveglia for Sale


Why is this beautiful 17-acre island in the Venetian Lagoons up for sale? From afar, the island looks very quiet and serene. It seems like pretty island that everybody would dream of owning or even at least spending a nice holiday. But its sinister past destroys the beauty of this island and so has been left standing there to rot for decades.


Located in northern Italy, Poveglia is an abandoned island haunted by the tales of its own history. Its first inhabitants were people from Padua and Este who fled to the island to escape barbarian invasions. It was a peaceful place until the bubonic plague struck in 1348 when it was made into a dumping ground for the sick and dying. Centuries later the Black Death turned the island into the same purpose; those who were afflicted with the disease were sent off to this island. A hospital was constructed in 1922 and was used as a place of exile for the mentally-ill. Stories of a doctor who became mad performed horrible experiments and tortured his patients by lobotomizing them with hammers, chisels and hand drills lingers over the island. Now, the island remains uninhabited and off-limits to tourists.


The Italian government has recently put it up for auction on 7 May hoping to use the revenue from its sale to pay off some of the country’s debts.


According to the British newspaper The Telegraph  “The Italian state is now hoping that offers will arrive to transform the hospital into a luxury hotel under a deal giving the buyer a 99-year lease to redevelop the property, while the island remains the property of the state,”  Four other Italian state-owned properties including a monastery in the old town of Taranto, Puglia and a 15th century castle Gradisca d’Isonzo are also to be auctioned





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