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Haunted Venice - Ca' Dario

Ca Dario in VeniceCa Dario is the third building to the right in the photo. The one with the circles on the façade.

Venice seems so bright and sparkly on a summer's day, but, as night falls, another Venice can be felt.

A Venice where the loud voices, laughter, and excitement of the tourists are gone. Now it is the ghosts of Venice who dominate—the spirits of centuries past. Mist rolls slowly along the blackened canals, enveloping them all in its embrace.

A shiver runs down your spine, and your blood turns to ice. Mostly benevolent, you can feel their presence—the presence of a thousand years of lives lived and lost in these streets.

Not all the ghosts are benevolent, though. Some are sinister and terrifying. This is the story of the most frightening of all Venice's ghosts...

The malignant spirits of Ca’ Dario or Palazzo Dario are said to have had a hand in the strange deaths of 10 innocent souls.

You'll find Ca'Dario in the Dorsoduro district of Venice Italy, facing onto the Grand Canal, but, before we get on to the strange ability of this building to kill nearly all who own it, let’s look at the history of the place...

Ca’Dario – History

Built in 1487, Ca’ Dario is unmistakable. It just doesn’t seem to fit in with the buildings near it. This elegant edifice, known as the "House of Sorrow," has amassed a grim reputation for the tragedies that have befallen its inhabitants throughout the centuries.

It is definitely a beautiful building; the chimneys in particular are distinctive, and very few chimneys still exist in this style.

The pale façade of marble and Istria stone is stunningly beautiful. Especially at sunset, it is one of the loveliest of all Venice palazzi. The front of the building glows ivory and gold; it shimmers and sparkles as though it is something ephemeral,  light, about to float up to the heavens.

Look at it too long, though, and you start to feel a chill down your spine, your blood turns to ice and you hear your heartbeat echoing in your ears. Nobody can say why, but most people are affected like this.

The building was designed and owned by Giovanni Dario. It stayed in the Dario family until the 19th century; the cursed nature of the building seems to have started right from the beginning. 

Today, the legends of Ca' Dario have given rise to tales of ghosts that still linger within its walls. Witnesses and visitors have reported eerie sightings and unexplained phenomena. Apparitions of ethereal figures have been seen, some resembling the unfortunate souls who met tragic ends. These spectral entities are said to wander the corridors, the weight of their past tragedies evident in their haunting presence.

Sounds of footsteps echoing in empty rooms, inexplicable cold spots, and flickering lights have all been reported by those who dared to venture into the mansion. The energy within Ca' Dario seems to stir with an otherworldly force, a palpable reminder of the anguish that has unfolded within its confines.

Whether one believes in the tales or not, the legends of Ca' Dario remain a part of Venice's enigmatic charm. It stands as a testament to the inexplicable, a place where the past's tragedies and the whispers of the supernatural coalesce.

The Curse’s Victims

The number of owners, or members of their families, who have died shortly after owning this building is shocking.

We are not talking about 1 or 2 deaths here, but probably closer to 10 at least.

The first to die was the daughter of Giovanni Dario, who committed suicide; this was followed by the murder of their son Vincenzo. The sad and terrible history continues right up until recently.

List of Casulties

  • The famous tenor Mario Del Monaco was seriously injured in a car accident in 1964.
  • Count delle Lanze in the 70's, who was murdered.
  • Count delle Lanze's Croatian murderer was in turn murdered in London.
  • Christoper Lambert, the manager of The Who, committed suicide by supposedly falling down stairs.
  • Nicoletta Ferrari died in a mysterious car accident in the 1980s.
  • Raul Gardini committed suicide in 1993 under suspicious circumstances.

Currently for Sale?

The building, from what I could discover, is currently owned by a large American multinational, but I have heard rumors that it is for sale. If you are interested and don’t believe in haunted castles and palaces, why not make an offer? Perhaps you can pick up a Venice palace at a bargain price.

More Ghosts in Italy

Want more haunted buildings in Italy? Visit the castle haunted by the man in the iron mask (read more in my Castle of Exilles guide).

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