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Thursday, February 11, 2016

Is this place in Venice affected by a terrible curse?

We Italians we have maybe the tendency to believe more that other people in superstitions. One of the most popular superstitions is for sure the “malocchio” (mal=bad occhio=eye) or the evil eye.
It’s the look that one person gives to another if they are jealous or envious. According to Italian folklore, those giving the malocchio can cause harm to someone else. Legend says it’s just another way of putting a curse on others that can cause physical pain such as head or stomach aches or even cause misfortune.

Are they real things or legends? Who knows right?  But then you hear stories about certain places and you start to wonder.

Like this one from my own Venice.

Ca’ Dario, is a house built between 1479 and 1487 for Giovanni Dario (a secretary of the Venetian Republic senate), and it is located in Dorsoduro on the beautiful Canal Canal Grande.

It is often called “Bellezza Maledetta” “Cursed beauty”. In Venice they say that if you are inside you can feel some “inquietudine” anxiaty. It is one of the most beautiful and caratteristic buildings of the Grand Canal.

I’ve always heard bad things about this building. In fact, the building is famous for a curse: according to the legend, its owners are destined to bankruptcy or to die.

Let me tell you a little more about it.

Marietta, Dario’s daughter, inherited the house together with Vincenzo Barbaro, her husband. Later, he lost all of his possessions and died under mysterious circumstances (probably stabbed). Marietta, couldn’t afford such a loss and killed herself. Their son Giacomo also died during an ambush on the Island of Creta.

Barbaro’s family then sold the building to a diamond merchant, who lost his wealth because he couldn’t afford to keep the palace and died later on.
What’s next? An American millionaire, relocated in Venice after the war because he was accused of being gay, killed himself. His lover had the same faith in Mexico.

We’re not done yet:

  In the 1960s, an Italian tenor, Mario del Monaco, had a car accident (luckily, he survived) on his way to Venice to buy Ca’ Dario. After the accident, he refused to buy it.

  Filippo Giordano delle Lanze bought the house in the 1970s and was killed there by his boyfriend, who also died in London.

  Christopher Kit Lambert, manager of the band The Who, fell in love with the building but ended up using drugs and was arrested in 1974. He also revealed that he was persecuted by ghosts inside the house.

 In the 1980s, Fabrizio Ferrari bought Ca’ Dario from Kit Lambert, but his sister Nicoletta died in a car accident.

  In the 1900s, Raul Gardini, a businessman, bought the palace: he was involved in a financial scandal and suicided in Milan.

 Also actor Woody Allen was considering buying the Palace in the 1990’s. But he decided not to do it after hearing the history of the Palace.
  Last episode, in 2002. A bass player, John Entwistle, suffered a heart attack a week after he rented the building.

What now? The property is owned by an American company since 2006. The buyer is unknown.

Some venitians pointed out that on the façade of the palace overlooking the Grand Canal, may be read “Urbis Genio Joannes Darius”, which means “Giovanni Dario to the genius of the city” but the anagram of the Latin phrase becomes: “Sub ruina insidiosa genero”, which means “I bring treacherous ruins to those who live under this roof”. Other says that the building was build on the ruins of a cemetery.

So next time you are cruising on the Grand Canal look for Ca’Dario and see if you can feel something spookie…….I always watch it from a distance and I wonder.

Ca Dario’s is one of the few buildings that is often for sale on the Grand Canal……just in case you want to take the chance.

From Venice With Love,



  1. Your blog is very interesting Giada! Thanks for writing. <3