Castles often make for mysterious, ghostly places, and on Halloween night even more so. Here are three castles in Italy to spend a spooky night this October 31.
Castello dal Pozzo
Located on beautiful Lake Maggiore, a favorite of the European aristocracy in the 19th century, Castello dal Pozzo is a former residence of the powerful Visconti, duchies of Milan, and today houses a 5-star luxury resort with 45 rooms.
According to legend, the ghost of the young marquise Barbara wanders the rooms of the castle. In the 15th century, Barbara fell in love with soldier and captain Matteo De Grandis, but her father opposed the relationship and locked Barbara in the tower of the castle, where, according to legend, she died of love sickness and desperation.
On October 31, Castello dal Pozzo will for the first time open two rooms in the tower for anyone who wants to meet Barbara’s ghost. The Castle also hosts a Halloween-themed dinner.
Castello di Gropparello
On the Piacenza hills, the Castle of Gropparello was the site of a love drama in the 1200s, when Rosania Fulgosio was walled alive in an underground cell by her husband who had accused her of cheating with the poet and knight Lancillotto Anguissola. It is said that on windy nights you can still hear Rosania’s screams from the tower.
On October 31, the Castle of Gropparello is hosting a Halloween-themed event, with a spooky itinerary in the woods and in the castle, starting at 6 pm. What – or who – could you ever meet while walking in the woods surrounding an ancient castle deep in the hills of Emilia-Romagna? Find out when you attend, then enjoy a banquet in the castle.
Set amid the Apuan Alps in northern Tuscany, the 12th-century Malaspina Castle is home to the ghost of Maria Bianca Malaspina, who was walled alive with her dog and a boar, possibly because she was albino. On full moon nights, it is said that her spirit wanders the castle wearing pure white clothes.
As part of the castle itinerary, you may visit eight rooms, or you may sleep in the castle, which houses a B&B with seven rooms and some common spaces such as the panoramic tower where to read and relax.
Every Friday night at 10pm (this year Nov. 1), it is possible to book a candlelight night visit in search of Maria Bianca’s ghost.