Poveglia: Myths, Legends and More…

Venice is a city full of history and secrets.

Many of the stories shared around the world about Venice are upon it’s fascinating beauty and construction. However, did you know that Poveglia also has stories that are just too scary and intense for mainstream tourism?

With Classic Boats Venice, you can now have the chance to discover some of these real life ghost stories in person from the comfort of our handcrafted Venetian boats. You will be guided along as our driver will lead you to one of the most mysterious places in Venice. Every tour is 3 hours long. Join us on our Poveglia Boat Tour.

About the Tour


Your Poveglia Tour will begin from our office on the hidden and beautiful island of Certosa. From 1199, this ancient island was once the home for a community of Augustinian friars. In the 1600’s Certosa was used for the military and once even occupied by Napoleon’s armies.


From Certosa, you will leave with your driver on our boat and sail across the Lagoon of Venice to the secret island of Poveglia. Your traditional Venetian boat will slowly circle around the island, your driver will detail the history and the legends of this truly frightening island. The secret island has been abandoned because according to many locals it is just too haunted.


Others contest that it abandoned because no one is interested in it. The island has attracted underground attention from ghost hunters, historians and by paranormal experts for the claims that it is just one of the most haunted places in the world. Others have called it an island of evil. But we don’t. It is a very peaceful island.

The island itself is regarded by many in the paranormal community as the ‘Island of Madness’. This is because it was once home to a psychiatric hospital. Prior to being an asylum for treating patients in Venice, the island of Poveglia was a ‘Lazaretto’ a quarantine centre for incoming ships as well. According to legend, a massive infection had broken out causing a plague. Many Venetians that were infected or presumed to be infected were brought to the island to either be treated or to die. The bodies were burnt and buried on the island. Years later, when the island was converted to a psychiatric facility in 1922, patients spoke of encounters with ghosts and mysterious people from an earlier time.

Adding fuel to speculation upon the island, is the belief that the Poveglia Island was used for secret experiments on patients. The doctor who conducted these experiments is believed to have been driven to madness by the ghosts of his dead patients that were subjected to his cruel tests.

While there have been attempts to revive the island by government and private initiatives, these attempts have largely failed for unknown reasons. According to some local fisherman they believe sailing their boats anywhere near the island could bring you bad luck. They also believe that if they were to sail near the island they would have a bad day fishing. The copious amount of tales and legends surrounding the island continue to scare and fascinate those interested in the spooky history of this forgotten island.


On your Poveglia Tour you will be able to see the abandoned hospital along with a few surprises. Subject to a few books and documentaries no one can seem to decide the real truth about this intriguing island. But now it is your turn to decide, if the legends on this island and others about Venice are true. On your next trip to Venice take a chance to experience the mysterious and the unknown while being guided along in a traditional handcrafted Venetian boat by an expert driver.

Images Credits: AnsaCorriere del VenetoFlickr

But now it is your turn to decide,if the legends on this island... and others about Venice are true

Reserve your Poveglia Tour

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