With its fine polychrome marble façade, Ca’Dario is one of the most charming palazzo in Venice but it is also one of the most mysterious. It seems that purchasing the building can very quickly lead to the ruin or violent death of the owner.
The earliest of such stories associated with the building date back to the very first owner, Giovanni Dario, the Venetian ambassador to Constantinople, who had the place built in the 15th century by architect Pietro Lombardo. Even if he himself did not live there – it served as the home for his daughter, who was married to the nobleman Vincenzo Barbaro – Giovanni Dario soon lost his political influence, whilst his son-in-law went bankrupt and his daughter died of a broken heart.
In the 17th century, the palazzo was occupied for a time by a descendant of the Barbaro family, Giacomo Barbaro, who was murdered in Chania (Crete), when he was governor there.
The very next owner, the rich Armenian diamond-merchant Arbit Abdol, lost his entire fortune and died a ruined man.
The story continues in the 19th century. Rawdon Brown, an English scientist who lived in the palazzo from 1832 to 1842 would, like his lover, commit suicide, a ruined man.
And in the 20th century, the American Charles Briggs who lived in the palazzo had to flee the country as a result of a homosexual scandal; his lover committed suicide in Mexico shortly after.
In the 1970’s the palazzo was home to Filippo Giordano delle Lanze, whose lover beat him to death there with a statuette.
The next owner, Fabrizio Ferrari, may not have died, but he did lose a large part of his fortune; his sister Nicoletta, however, was found dead in a field.
The famous Italian industrialist Raul Gardini committed suicide soon after buying the palazzo.
There was one last incident. After a serious car accident, tenor Mario del Monaco gave up his plans of buying the palazzo – as did Woody Allen when he learnt of the curse that seems to hang over the place.
The building has now been bought by a developer with the intention of turning it into apartments….. would you live in one of them?????