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Digital Subscriptions > Italia! > Nov 2019 > DON’T LOOK NOW…


Even the most familiar places tend to look a little different as night falls… Sara Scarpa bravely steps into the shadows in search of the mysterious secrets of Venice After Dark
This gloomy scene was once the site of a grisly murder
Images by Iain Reid

The maze of narrow alleys, combined with the tricks of the light reflected in the canals, the decaying palaces and the fog make Venice the city of mysteries par excellence. The ghosts we will meet here in Rialto and the stories they have to tell are only a few of those you may encounter while walking around at night. There are still many more – from the famous characters of the ancient palaces in the Grand Canal, to the skeleton of Saint Mark’s bell-ringer, to the mad doctor in Poveglia. Each district in Venice has its fair share of ghosts and creepy stories and unnerving legends to be told… I have read so many legends and anecdotes about my home town that sometimes, when I let my imagination run wild, the characters of these stories seem to visit me. They demand to come back to life and be famous once again and it feels almost like I have the duty to keep them alive by telling people their fascinating tales. And so their memory lives on and the story of Venice becomes even more captivating to me. Hundreds of ghosts, legends and stories haunt the floating city…

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About Italia!

We begin on the heel of Italy this month, where a return visit to Puglia is both a trip down memory lane and a voyage of discovery, exploring places like Ostuni, Locorotondo, Lecce and, of course, Alberobello. Venice after dark is our next adventure, when a night walk through the city reveals the ghostly secrets of days gone by. Hop on the Italian ‘Trans-Siberian Express’ for a journey through Abruzzo and Molise, and in this month of remembrance we pay tribute with the story of Monte Cassino, one of the Second World War’s most tragic battles.