The Dark History Of Poveglia

By | August 9, 2019

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Poveglia Island. Source: (

Located in the Venice Lagoon off the coast of Northern Italy is a small island with a big history. A history of disease, torture, and death. That island is Poveglia and, due to its dark history, it is believed to be one of the most haunted places on Earth.

Its history wasn’t always so disturbing. The island began as a place of refuge in the early 5th century when it was inhabited by Italians who had fled the mainland due to the barbaric invasions by Alaric the Goth and Attila the Hun, though historians speculate that the island may have been inhabited as early as 2000 B.C. by a group of proto-Italians known as the Euganei. The small size of Poveglia, as well as its location among the other islands of the lagoon, made it much easier to defend and the residents of the island lived in peace until the 14th century.

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The town of Chioggia. Source: (

During the Chioggia War with Genoa, which began in 1379, the residents of Poveglia were forced to move to another island in the Venetian Lagoon. Poveglia was then converted into a military outpost, complete with an octagonal fort and naval artillery which allowed Venice to control the lagoon. After the war, the island was left abandoned for two hundred years, until the Bubonic Plague in 1576.