Italians on Italians
Beyond Toscano

Tales of Tuscan ghosts

Tales of Tuscan ghosts
Halloween is becoming more and more popular in Tuscany every year. But we don’t need Halloween as an excuse to tell a good ghost story – there are many places in Tuscany that experience hauntings all year round.

By day, tourists flock to Palazzo Vecchio in Florence by the hundreds. But by night, the palace is home to slightly more light-footed visitors. When the doors close, the strange noises begin, with many people swearing they hear footsteps and squeaking floorboards in the otherwise empty building. If there are indeed ghosts there, the most famous would be Baldaccio d’Anghiari, a valiant fighter who was betrayed and murdered in the palace in 1441. There are rules to his haunting, don’t speak his name without reason, keep a low voice and tread with respect, or risk evoking his wrath.

Meanwhile in Pisa, an ancient legend tells of the mischievous ghost of Teresa della Seta Bocca Gaetani, who haunts the halls of the villa by the same name. A beautiful woman from the Pisa family, she met her end in the villa and now spends the nights moving tapestries on the walls, ornaments on the mantelpiece or slamming doors and windows. On some nights, when there’s a full moon, she’s even been spotted out in the grounds riding a horse-drawn carriage. Curious? You can book a stay at the villa for yourself, but don’t be surprised to hear cackles of laughter coming from the wine cellar.