Do you know which is the scariest place in Venice?
Many would reply the famous Bridge of Sighs, but actually the appellative of cursed house belongs to Ca’ Dario, a mansion in Venetian Renaissance style overlooking the Grand Canal, notorious for the curse that seems to dog it: since 1487, when it was built, all the different occupants have died in inexplicable circumstances.
It would appear that the latest victim of this curse was John Entwistle, the famous bass guitarist of The Who. When John died suddenly in 2002, he had just rented Ca’ Dario.
Position: Campiello Barbaro 352, 30123 Venice
In Venice there is a very unusual bookshop that has become a tourist attraction and is considered one of the most curious bookshops in the world.
To reach it you will have to leave the most popular calli (street names in Venice) and go a little way beyond the church of Santa Maria Formosa. What’s special about this place is a canal that fills the shop with water whenever the level of the lagoon rises. To deal with this the owner has cleverly created a place with floating or waterproof furniture.
Books are displayed on a gondola at the entrance, on an old boat and a bathtub, but that’s not all, you’ll also see a ladder made up of old volumes to look over the retaining wall onto the canal. Definitely a fascinating place that’s worth a visit.
Position: Calle Lunga Santa Maria Formosa, 5176b, 30122 Venice, Italy
Not everyone knows that there’s a maze in Venice, a labyrinth formed with hedges of over 3000 box bushes that confound those trying to find a way out. It was built on the island of San Giorgio Maggiore, and is easily reached by vaporetto from St. Mark’s Square. It is dedicated to Jorge Luis Borges, who was very fond of Venice.
The idea of the maze was inspired by the Argentinian author’s poetry, which often used this image to represent the complexity of the world and the difficulty humans have in finding their way in life. In the maze there are objects that represent symbols dear to Borges: a stick, mirrors, an hourglass, sand, a tiger and a huge question mark.
Will you find your way out?
Position: Island of San Giorgio Maggiore, 30133 Venice, Italy
As you relax at the end of this itinerary, sip Corte delle Calli in the magic atmosphere of Venice.