Italy is not only the country of sun, art, and good food, some places embrace Halloween all year round

The images most likely brought to mind when Italy is mentioned are those of the green Tuscan hills, of colorful seaside villages, of the impressive architecture of Venice, Florence, and Rome, and most of the time these images are enveloped in the warm light of the Mediterranean sun. However, in this wonderful country, there is no shortage of spooky locations, ghost villages, and chilling legends.

In the north-west of the country, Turin is considered the Italian capital of both Black and White Magic. Here, among the many spooky locations, there is Maniero dell Rotta. This privately owned and abandoned castle is said to host a lot of creepy ‘action’. Plenty of sightings have been noticed in this place, especially of a monk dressed as at the time of crusades. It is also supposed to be haunted by knights, ladies, rascals, and hangmen that lived there or passed by on their way to Moncalieri.

Bomarzo Monsters Park

Still in the north, but to the east, Poneglia Island is a little-known Venetian island. It also happens to be one of the most terrifying places in Italy, as it has seen an incredible amount of suffering. Legends say that it is still haunted by the 160.000 souls of the people who died there when it was a bubonic plague quarantine station. Indeed, about 50% of the island’s soil is thought to be made of human remains. It is off-limits for visitors, but sailing by it, it is possible to see parts of human skeletons in the open air.

Moving to the province of Viterbo, we find the Bomarzo Monsters Park. This is one of the most mysterious places in central Italy.

Renaissance prince Vinicio Orsini commissioned the park in the 16th century to cope with grief following his wife’s death. A wild ground with shapeless rocks of peperino stone turned into a magical and enchanting place. An enigmatic Mannerist gallery of bizarre, spectacular, and disturbing sculptures and lopsided architecture.

Less than a hundred kilometers to the south, in Rome, the Capuchin Crypt is located in via Veneto. Its decorations consist of the ancient skulls and skeletons of about 4,000 friars. The macabre display is meant to remind us of the fleeting nature of life on earth. In fact, one of the inscriptions in the crypt reads “What you are we were, what we are you will be”.

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