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Poveglia Island

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  • Poveglia Island

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    Benvenuto a Poveglia, Italia!!! Welcome to Poveglia, Italy!!!

    Poveglia is a small island in between Venice and Lido Italy. Sounds nice, right? A private, small island in one of the most beautiful countries in the world. Well, after reading the enriching, horrifying, history of what really went on in this island, one might think twice about vacationing there.

    Actually, one cannot possiblly vacation there as the Italian government PROHIBITS locals or tourists from entering. Why, might you ask? Let’s take a trip down the historical path of this creepy, hell-like, island.

    It all started back in the year 421 when the Island became a sanctuary for men, women, and children fleeing the barbaric invaders from the mainland. For centuries, this Island remained peaceful and quiet. In the 14th century, Podesta (a group of Italian officials) came in to govern the Island, because there were no laws or taxes. Things went downhill when Podesta came in, and when Venice (it’s neighboring city) came under attack, the people of Poveglia were moved to Giudecca.

    The Island then became abandoned and was used as a checkpoint for goods and people trying to enter Venice by ships. Well, we all know what happened in the 1300s in Europe: The Bubonic Plague. The horrific disease that took around 25 million lives. What better way to use this abandoned Island than for a quarantine? The Bubonic Plague was a NIGHTMARE and because it was spreading so quickly, individuals passing through on ships ended up never leaving. It is said that these individuals were already infected when they entered the island, so they were kept there in confinement. The city of Venice also began exiling infected individuals to this Island, fearing for more spread of the disease. These infected individuals were dumped on this island for “quarantine” but ended up dying. It is said that the bodies were burned after their death. The quarantine eventually closed, in 1814.

    One may think, geez.. what could be worse than dumping plague victims on this small, abandoned Island? Well, in the eyes of some, it did get worse. Who began to get exiled onto the Island now? The mentally ill. Or as they used to call it, the mentally “insane”. There was no real rehabilitation here. Doctors and psychologists weren’t choosing evidenced-based therapies to treat these individuals. They used an approach called “let’s keep them locked away in poor conditions until they deteriorate and because they are less of a human, let’s experiment on them! Because, they have no say”. Boy, have we come a long way with psychiatry (thankfully). Story goes, a doctor began conducting strange experiments on these individuals and (as one may assume) neglected and abused the patients. The doctor eventually committed suicide by throwing himself off the Bell Tower on the island in the 1930s. The Bell Tower was removed decades ago, yet locals still claim to hear it’s chime echo from the Island.

    The Asylum eventually closed down. Today, the Island is completely abandoned. It has been reported that Italian construction crews have attempted to restore the former hospital building (rumors of making it into a luxury hotel..) but each time they would start, they would abruptly stop without explanation. Locals began to speculate that the Island is haunted by the countless souls that were left for dead. In recent news, the Italian Government has put it on auction for a 99-year lease in 2014 in hopes to renovate the old Asylum into that luxury hotel that was talked about early. My question is, who (besides paranormal investigators, demonologists, or ghost hunters) would ever willingly decide to stay there for a vacation? Hey, I may be wrong. This could turn into a hot spot for spring breakers and tourists. Just look out for the dark, angry forces that still reside on this Island.