Hidden treasures

A castle for two: the ghosts of Lari

Mysteries & Legends
Castello-Lari

A castle for two: the ghosts of Lari

Scotland has always been identified as the land of ghosts. It must be because there are so many castles. However, Tuscany too has its fair share of ghost legends! In fact, our old houses and ancient manors are teeming with disturbing presences. This time to find a ghost, or rather two, we head to Lari in the province of Pisa: a delightful medieval village 30 kms from the city of the leaning tower. Here is a castle whose first evidence dates to 732 AD. Over the centuries it had different purposes but the mysteries mainly concern the period in which it was used as the residence of the Vicars of Florence. At the time, the castle was the seat of the tribunal, and above all of the prisons and the torture chamber, which was aptly called hell. Sometimes, all sort of bad things are shockingly enacted in certain places! It’s no surprise that the unlucky victims, once dead, wanted to take revenge for so much horror.

As already mentioned, in the castle of Lari, there are even two sightings: Gostanza Libbano, who died at the end of the 16th century, and Giovanni Princi, known as the 'rosso della Paola', who died in 1922. Who were they?

The former was very good at healing ills with herbal mixtures. Nowadays she would probably simply be the owner of a herbal store, but at the time she was accused of witchcraft by the Inquisition. She was basically in the wrong place at the wrong time! She was incarcerated and savagely tortured, but she never gave in until she was finally released from prison. But her suffering had been so much that she died shortly afterwards. It seems that her ghost returns from time to time to the cell where she had been imprisoned. It is said that her screams are so loud that her harrowing cries are felt throughout the valley.

Giovanni Princi’s story is more recent. He was imprisoned in one of the cells because he was considered a conspirator and a political enemy. He was found dead on 16 December 1922, hanged from the cell railings. It could have been suicide but the head wound and the obvious signs of beatings seemed to tell a different story. Perhaps it is precisely for this reason that the ghost manifests itself on 15 and 16 December!

Feeling scared? Do you feel you need to pull yourself together? We have the perfect solution for you: book one of our food and wine tours: a glass of good wine and some delicacies and, as they say… 'fear will disappear'!

 

By Insidecom Editorial Staff

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