This seven hectare uninhabited island is not open to the public, but with a private boat you can go on a pic-picnic excursion, and most importantly on a haunting adventure. La Poveglia — that was known in antiquity as Popilia, for the abundance of popular trees — is famous for its ghost stories.
In the 1700s it became a quarantine for the Bubonic plague, and during the twentieth century the island was said to be populated by phantoms — 160,000 bodies had been dumped on the island which is why halff the soil is human ash. In 1922 a building was erected on La Poveglia. The archives officially claim it was a retirement home for the elderly, but testimonies have a different version to the story: apparently it was used as an asylum. It closed down in 1946, but in the meantime there are legends of a sadist psychiatrist who lobotomized his patients, who were haunted by the souls of those who died during the plague. The doctor reportedly threw himself off the bell tower, claiming to be driven mad by the apparitions of his victims.
During the 1960s a wealthy family bought the island and sold it after a brief period of time, terrified by the tormented spirits. The following decades the municipality of Venice decided to put it up for sale, in the hope the purchase would help reduce the Italian national debt. But it hasn’t found an owner as of yet.
In the meantime some visitors have declared to have walked past objects that were standing on side of the ruined building, and as they returned later during the day were placed in a completely different area. Hence, La Poveglia is a must-see for all aspiring ghostbusters!