Prato della Valle- Notte- riflessi

The Mysteries and Legends of the Beautiful Venetian City

Are you in Padua and wondering if there are any legends or places with mysterious histories? Keep reading to discover the mysteries and legends of Padua with us.

Padua is a captivating city that enchants visitors with its beauty and ancient history. The city’s culture seamlessly connects the past to the present, with art and science flourishing throughout its history. However, fueled by cultural fervor, the imagination of the Paduans has given rise to many ghostly legends and tales of the devil. During our visit, we heard some of these stories and gathered them in this article. So, join us as we explore the mysteries and legends of Padua.

Mysteries and Legends of Padua: The Ghost of Torlonga

The Mysteries and Legends of Padua - Ghost - Ezzelino - Torre della Specola
Torlonga at Night

The first legend unfolds within the setting of Torlonga, an ancient tower part of Carrarese Castle, now housing the astronomical observatory Specola. The tale speaks of the ghost of one of Ezzelino da Romano’s victims, the ruler of Padua at the time. Allegedly, this prisoner, named Sarpendone, a skilled warrior and Ezzelino’s protege, endured torture before being imprisoned in Torlonga until his death from hardships.

Many believe Sarpendone’s tragic tale involves a secret affair with Ezzelino’s wife, Selvaggia. Discovering the betrayal, Ezzelino punished his wife and imprisoned Sarpendone in Torlonga. After torturing him and mutilating him, Sarpendone endured for a few days before succumbing. Since then, it’s said his spirit wanders the tower in unrest.

The Ghostly Luminary

Torlonga, however, seems ideal for paranormal phenomena. Every year on the night of June 23, linked to witches’ festivities, people claim to hear ghostly screams from the ancient prisons and witness a small light descending rapidly down the tower, disappearing into the canal below. Some say it’s the soul of a Torlonga prisoner who, to escape Ezzelino’s cruelty, chose suicide.

Mysteries and Legends of Padua: The Ghost of the Violinist of Santa Caterina Church Interior of Santa Caterina Church

The Mysteries and Legends of Padua - Ghost of the Violinist - Church of Santa Caterina
Interior of the Church of Santa Caterina

Another famous haunted spot in Padua is Santa Caterina Church. Witnesses have reported seeing the shadow of a man in 18th-century attire passionately playing a violin inside the church at night. Alternatively, a female figure dancing to mysterious music has been observed. Legend links these apparitions to Giuseppe Tartini (the famous violinist from Piran)  and his wife, buried in the church in the 1700s. The story originated when Tartini’s tomb was found empty, leading to the belief that the strange shadows were the ghosts of Tartini and his wife.

Mysteries and Legends of Padua: The House of Mirrors

The most mysterious and terrifying tales in Padua converge near the Cathedral, close to the 16th-century House of Mirrors.

the Mysteries and legends of Padua - House of Mirrors - Spirits - presences
Facade of the House of Mirrors

Named for the round marble decorations resembling mirrors, this palace’s legend suggests these rounds weren’t merely ornamental but served as magical talismans reflecting negative influences away from the house. Consequently, stories of malevolent presences causing terrifying visions inside the house have circulated. Unverified accounts include a girl mysteriously sitting on a balcony ready to jump, terrifying faces reflected on glass, walls appearing to swell with putrid water, and the ghost of an elderly woman with sewn lips. For ghost enthusiasts, this place is truly captivating.

The Devil’s Clog of St. Anthony’s Basilica

The last charming legend takes us to St. Anthony’s Basilica. On the left side, among religious decorations, a peculiar sight includes an inverted cross and a clog-shaped mark.

Devil's hoof - Basilica of Sant'Antonio - legend
The Devil’s Clog

Legend explains that the devil himself left his mark, imprinting one of his clogs on the bricks. However, it seems more like a slipper than a hoofprint. Two plausible versions exist: one credits the ciabattini (shoemakers) of Padua for financially contributing to the Basilica’s completion, leaving their mark, while the other suggests a nearby cobbler sought free publicity by creating the symbol. Now that you know  the mysteries and legends of Padua, you can’t resist wandering to catch a glimpse of some spirits.

Seguici sui Social

Article Name
The misteries and legends of Padua
Explore the mysteries and legends of Padua. Curious about the city's enigmatic past? Uncover Padua's secrets with us.
Publisher Name
La Scimmia Viaggiatrice