Fosco and Elena

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Ghost in Venice
The legend of the Campiello del Remer
Fosco and Elena

Venice, a unique city with a great history and a thousand mysteries, hides in every corner dark stories of crimes, ghosts and demons, fairies and witches, real events and fantasies.

One of these stories have originated in the city center near Rialto where the beautiful little square “Campiello del Remer” is located. The legend tells that in the ‘600, Fosco, a member of the Loredan family, married to Elena, the Doge’s brother’s daughter, became the protagonist of a story of passion and death.

Fosco, who was very jealous of his wife, was convinced that she was betraying him. One evening, having seen her embraced by another man, he ran after her until he reached her near the Campiello del Remer. The woman tried to defend herself by claiming that it was her cousin. Despite the arrival of her uncle the Doge and his guards who tried to defend her from her angry husband, Fosco took the sword and killed Elena by cutting off his head.

Fosco Loredan asked the Doge for forgiveness in the name of a norm in use for the nobles in those times, which justified the betrayed husband if he executed his wife for infidelity. A pardon that the Doge Pietro Grimani however denied.

After being sent in vain to Rome by the Pope to decree his punishment, Fosco escaped from the guards who were taking him to prison, and went to the place where his wife’s head was kept. Arrived in the Campiello del Remer, for the remorse he threw himself into the Grand Canal and let himself drown just a few steps from the shore.

His body was never found, but the legend tells that on full moon nights, when the north wind blows, the ghost of Fosco Loredan reappears, clutching his wife’s head in his hands.

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