At the day of his wife, Elena Grimani’s death anniversary, a the ghost of noble man called Fosco Loredan can be seen carrying his dead wife’s head . The very same head he himself decapitated out of jealousy and had to carry to Rome.
Once upon a time in 16th century Venice, a nobleman called Fosco Loredan fell in love with a woman. Her name was Elena Grimani and was the Doge’s niece and in a very powerful position. They married, but it wasn’t happily ever after.
Not much is known of Loredan’s life except that he was a very well known man. It was also known that he was a horrendously jealous man and kept accusing his wife of cheating on him. He would also regularly spy on his much younger wife as she was always getting much attention because of her beauty. Elena Grimani denied having an affair, but he wouldn’t believe a single word she said.
One night in 1598, Loredan went to Campiello del Remér in the Cannaregio district of Venice to look for his wife. He was sure that she was betraying him with another man. In a fit of rage he chased her from their marital home with a sword in his hand.
The chase ended with Loredan beheading Elena Griman in front of everyone at Campiello del Remér, including the Doge himself, who was the leader of Venice.
According to the legend, the Doge Marino heard the desperate cries of his niece, Elena Grimani and went to her rescue. He placed himself between her and her husband, to no avail. The angry man managed to distract the Doge enough to get past him and behead his wife to everyone’s shock.
Loredan tried immediately to ask the Doge’s forgiveness as it was his right as a husband to punish a cheating wife. The Doge refused though.
Loredan’s punishment for his crime was to carry the body of his dead wife he had decapitated to the pope in Rome to ask forgiveness and mercy. But when he finally arrived there after his long journey, still with his clothes stained with his dead wife’s blood, Pope Clement VIII refused to see him and he wasn’t granted the forgiveness he seeked.
An arrest order was put on him Instead and he had to fight off the guards to escape them and Rome. Loredan walked back to Venice, still holding the decaying body of the woman he murdered in his hands.
It didn’t go well for Loredan after his crime and he didn’t see a way out. He returned to the scene of his crima in Campiello del Remér and in despair he threw himself into the lagoon and drowned.
Today, the local legend says that on the anniversary of Elena’s killing and even on full moon nights, on those night when the northern wind blows, you can still see his ghost along the Grand Canal by Campiello Del Remer, coming out of the water, still carrying his wife’s head.
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