In the square of Campo dei Mori in Venice there are three stone statues placed in the. Legend has it that the three brother merchants were cursed and turned to stone, together with their camel.
In Venetian legends, there are many stories of people being cursed, often by greed, and this is one of them. Around 1100 AD there were 3 rich merchants named Rioba, Afani and Sandi trying to sell fabric by Palazzo Mastelli at Campo dei Mori square.
Sior Antonio Rioba together with his brothers came from Morea which was the Venetian name for the Peloponnese in Greece. They were very rich silk and spice merchants of the Mastelli del Cammello family who built the entire area and had a house nearby named ‘the House of the Camel’. They were called Mastelli because they were known to have ‘Thousands of tubs of gold coins’.
However the fabric they were selling was poor quality compared to the price they tried to sell it for. In some variation of the legend, Sior Antonio Rioba and his brothers were also bankmen that scammed their customers by high priced loans.
They tried to scam this local old lady to buy one of their fabrics one they, or give her a loan, depending on the variant of the legend. They told her that this ordinary fabric was the best yarn in Venice and the Lord could turn them into stone if they didn’t tell her the truth. She was recently a widow and took over a tailoring workshop, and she knew what a good quality fabric was. When she found out their plan, she cursed the money she gave them by praying to Mary Magdalene to help her. This turned the 3 men, along with their camel, into stone and are still standing there to this day.
In the 19th century, one of the statues lost his nose and was replaced with a nose of iron. Venetians believe that if you touch the nose of the statue of Sior Antonio Rioba, you will have good luck in business.
It is said that sometimes at night, you can hear Sior Antonio Rioba lamenting about his grief, and if you put your hand on his stone cold chest, you can still hear a heart beating forever confined to his corner at Campo dei Mori.
More like this
- The Pagan Haunting of Die Karlsteine in Osnabrück
- The Old Maternity Hospital Haunts the Building of Cordoba University
- The Princess Tomb under the Summer Palace
- The Ghost Village of So Lo Pun
- The Haunted Orphanage Complejo de la Misericordia
- Lady Janet Douglas, Ghost of Glamis Castle
- The School of Witchcraft in Barcelona
- The Ghost on the Eighth Floor of the Fusuijing Building
- The Ghost in Red at Ping Shan Tat Tak School
- The Chief Executioner at Plaza Nueva
- The Haunted Road of Bundesstraße 215
- The Ghost under the Lamp Post at Plaça del Comerç