The story takes place in the parts of the busy Mercerie, near the Bareteri bridge, in the Lucatello court. It is set in this pretty court, closed between the wings of luxurious stores and cozy clubs. The “mystery”, however, concerns the well in the center of the court. In all the Venetian courts there are wells that were one of the few water resources of the lagoon city.
The legend says that the well of Lucatello court is “cursed”. In the time in which our story took place, however, a period of drought reigned in Venice. It was necessary to take as little water as possible from the well to satisfy everyone. Imagine how many fights the poor people were having.
It was night as a boatman, going to the well of Lucatello court, found a lady dressed in white. He immediately became frightened because of the dark hour and certain rumors that told of witches wandering in the night and particularly ferocious, given the period of drought. But the lady dressed in white said to the boatman: “Don’t be afraid! But if you don’t return home before dawn tonight, something strange will happen to you”.
The frightened boatman threatened the lady to leave, continuing to draw water from the well. The lady instead kept begging him insistently to leave. At a certain point, a man entered from the portico who attacked the boatman with a long knife and hit him seriously. The fight lasted just long enough for the attacker to realize that the boatman was not the one he was looking for and he immediately regretted his act.
The lady in white then took the knife soaked in blood dropped on the ground by the assailant and approached the well, making three drops of blood fall into it. At that moment the water began to rise from the well until it overflowed. He took his handkerchief and cleaned the wound of the boatman who immediately began to heal.
The boatman came to life, he and the assailant looked into each other’s eyes and heard the lady in white telling them that from that moment on there would be plenty of water. When they turned to thank the mysterious lady, she had already dissolved into nothingness.
The legend says that the lady in white was a victim of the jealousy of her lover. She was thrown and walled up inside the well to hide the murder committed by a noble lover of hers. Since then her spirit hovers in the dark nights of the new moon and makes fleeting appearances in the court.
Location: Corte Lucatello, Venice