Ca’ Dario: the cursed palace

Venice is a wonderful city with many myths and legends, and some of them are really disturbing. One of these legends are link to a beautiful palace: Ca’ Dario. This building is known by everyone in the city and many venetians literally stay away from it. Gabriele D’Annunzio, a famous Italian writer and poet, knew really well the palace. He stayed in Casetta Rossa for a while, located just in front of Ca’ Dario, so he could watch the building from the other bank of the Grand Canal. Also, Claude Monet painted it from the same perspective.

History of the palace

This palace is located in sestiere Dorsoduro directly on the Grand Canal, close to the church Santa Maria della Salute. According to the legend, the owner of this palace seems destined to go bankrupt or to die a violent death. The construction of the building was ordered to the architect Pietro Lombardo by Giovanni Dario in 1479, who wanted to give his daughter Marietta a beautiful palace as a dowry. On the palace’s façade there is the inscription “Urbis Genio Ioannes Darius”, which means “To Giovanni Dario, the genius of the city”, but some experts affirmed that this sentence hides a very different one, “Sub Ruina Insidiosa Genero”, which means “I’ll cause insidious threats to anyone who lives under this roof ”. Another version of the story says that the palace was built on a Templar cemetery. 

The cursed events

Marietta, Giovanni’s daughter, committed suicide after his husband, Vincenzo Barbaro, went bankrupt. Also, we know that Vincenzo was stabbed to death and that his son Giacomo died in an ambush while he was in Iraklio in Crete. Because of these fatal events, venetians started to think that Ca’ Dario was cursed.  All the future owner of the building had financial problem or died in strange or mysterious ways.

Ca’ Dario in recent times

At the end of the 80’s, Raul Gardini bought the palace to gift it to its daughter, but shortly after he was involved in a financial scandal. He shot himself and was found dead in his house on 23rd July 1993. It seems that Ca’ Dario hits also at a distance: Mario Del Monaco, a tenor, had a serious boat accident on his way to draw up the contract of purchase of the house. He survived the accident, but this event forced him to end his career. Gardini’s daughter, Elisabetta, sold the palace in 2006 to an american company that ordered the current restoration works.