La colonna dannata di Palazzo Ducale

The damned fourth column of Palazzo Ducale
luck or misfortune on the last lap
Colonna dannata

A Venetian story tells that some people condemned to death were offered the chance to save their lives as long as they could turn around a particular column on one side of the “Palazzo Ducale” that overlooks the San Marco basin without falling off the narrow step which acts as a pedestal to the entire basement. In the past the façade of the “Palazzo Ducale” faced directly onto the lagoon, without any small square or shore surrounding it and the water touched the white columns of the ground floor.

It is the fourth column of the long colonnade that overlooks the basin, starting from the corner one that also looks at the little square, and it also seems a bit bigger than the others; protruding for a few centimeters from the perspective profile formed by the colonnade. Well, the convicts had to step by step around the column with their backs against it and complete the circle for the entire circumference; if they could pass this test, they had saved their lives. A test that however never seems to have succeeded in any unfortunate except in rare cases of which no one keeps a trace.

As can be guessed, those who did not succeed in the task, slipping into the water, thus nullified the possibility of being pardoned if not even drowning in the waters of the basin of San Marco … and without disturbing the executioner.

For those who do not believe in the legend of the allowed “last lap” to save themselves from death, all that remains is to reach this infamous column of Palazzo Ducale, embrace it backwards and turn its back to it and try. Fortunately, those who try today will no longer fall into the water or climb onto the scaffold, but as then they will be clear that you cannot win the last lap with fate.

Location: Palazzo Ducale, Venice

Interested in our products?

Contact us for personalized advice

By clicking the submit button above, you confirm that you have carefully read and accept our privacy and cookie policy, our terms of use and the disclaimer.

About Us

We are a Venetian company that produces Murano glass items. We are specialized in glass creations for architecture and interior design. As a sign of love for our wonderful and unique city, the information and services offered on this blog are for educational purposes only and have been carefully selected for quality and reliability.


Texts and images included in the posts are only partially works by the authors of the articles and their properties. Some images and texts are taken from the web and, therefore, considered to be in the public domain. Where possible, source and author are published for illustrative purposes only, in compliance with the law on the “Protection of copyright and other rights related to its exercise”. If their publication violates specific copyrights, please notify us for timely removal. The authors of the blog are not responsible for the content of comments to posts, nor for the content of the linked sites. Please read the blog disclaimer carefully.

Recent Posts

Follow Us

Buy Now >>> Online Shop!

Sign up for our Newsletter

By entering your email address, you agree to receive updates and promotions and accept our terms of use and our privacy policy, including our cookie use.