Maybe some are only legends, some others popular beliefs but for sure there are some true stories… We will accompany you, as usual, hand in hand… But hold on tight because this time it will not be easy to pretend nothing happened! Start your terror tour in Piazza Duomo, stand right in front of the cathedral and listen to Carlina story… The Duomo ghost rambling sad…
Carlina was a young girl from the Lake of Como, more precisely from Schignano. At the time and in those areas, according to custom, young brides dressed in black – and not in white as you are used to see – to go unnoticed and avoid brutes to take advantage of them and their youth… It was like a dressing-up! All dressed in black Carlina and Renzino (her young husband) came to Milan to visit the Duomo and see its steeples, as was customary on a honeymoon.
It was a cold and foggy winter day and the two lovers went up to the top of the big terrace… Everything was shrouded in mist, both the steeples and the monstrous figures carved in stone popped out of the fog… Carlina was very uneasy and scared… Why did she is so afraid? What was worrying her?… Alas! Carlina was keeping a secret, she was pregnant, and she swore not to tell it anyone, not even her dear Renzino, letting him think he was the father. Carlina was sure she would have kept her secret, but once on the top of the Duomo, the thick fog and the scary figures of demons and dragons throw her into panic… She felt to be observed, judged and accused of not being able saving herself till marriage! As scary figures kept popping out of the fog, she gave up: she let her hand slip from Renzino grasp and she started running among the statues shouting and crying… At that point Renzino saw her falling. He watched her body until it was swallowed by the fog.
The legend has it that people looked for her body without never finding it. Nowadays many people say they have seen a white-eyed spooky figure dressed in black appearing in the photos behind the newly weds coming out of the Duomo as to wish them a happy life together, since she did not have the change to spend hers.
Now, take a long breath. If you are hungry we advise you to stop at Antica Focacceria San Francesco or have a delicious panzerotto from Luini – close by – otherwise continue straight to Piazza Fontana. Sit down on the benches in front of these beautiful white mermaids and relax, it seem they are keeping more frivolous secrets… It is said they know all lovers whispers!
From here, cross Via Larga and you will reach Piazza Santo Stefano… The next stop is Chiesa di San Bernardino alle Ossa, visit the link and carefully read what happens here every year, at the same time, during the night of All Souls’ Day!
Now that you have left the church we advise you to take a stroll in Largo Richini, in front of the Università Statale, it will help you to relax! Remember that if you haven’t eaten yet, this area is full of good restaurants and pizzerias! (Original Pizza OK – Ristorante Pizzeria-Pizza Pazza) But hurry up! Your terror tour has just started!
You will now walk close to Torre Velasca and you will end up in Corso di Porta Romana… Rumors has it that here, at n.3 – in this beautiful but severe building – the Devil lived! Who was him? Probably, his name was Ludovico Acerbi, owner of this sumptuous palace – still named after him.
The legend has it that about 400 years ago the marquise Acerbi, did not care about the pandemic plague and continued organize great parties in his palace. Every time he went out, he went around the city in a black carriage pulled by six black horses and followed by sixteen bodyguards wearing a golden and green livery… What a spooky person! Those people who crossed the streets at night saw nothing but great piles of dead people everywhere, but if they went closer to the Acerbi palace, they only heard music and laughter coming from the main hall where the marquise invited all the nobles of the city to have fun and enjoy themselves – careless about the plague… Pay attention, no one, neither the marquise nor his guests ever got infected! This is the reason why Ludovico Acerbi was called the Devil… Both because of his behaviour and due to the mystery that his house held, where it seemed misfortunes could not enter!
If the front door is open have a quick look inside… But be careful… You never know what may happen! Anyway, even though the doors are closed, have a look at those big stone faces on the left and on the right of the door… Then lift your gaze and look at the bas-reliefs upon your little head… Maybe the Devil really lived here!
Now you may continue… Enter those little streets taking you to Via Torino, this street teems with shops where you can get your mind off before listening to the next story… (Govinda , Taverna Moriggi , Arnold Coffee, California Bakery) Yes, because the story we are going to tell you is a real one, it deals with a serial killer!
The story is set in Milan, during the XIX century, more than 200 years ago… And we are in the narrower street of Milan, la Stretta Bagnera. A master builder – greatly respected by people both for his kind manners and his good work – lived here, ha was known as Antonio Boggia, and became famous as “the monster of Bagnera”!
Everything started when an old and wealthy woman – Ester Maria Perrocchio – went missing.
Her son get worried after not having seen her for a few days so he started to investigate together with the judge Crivelli that had immediately understood that “il Boggia” was a bit strange… The lady, had actually been in contact with him for some restoration works in her building and shortly after, she went missed. In the meantime, he had skilfully managed to falsify some important documents thus becoming the owner of Mrs Ester’s building. This was the first hint of guilt. Monster? Why did he become famous for being a monster? After all, he had always been honest and above any suspicion, God-fearing and very friendly… Judge Crivelli really didn’t like him and therefore he kept looking for evidences until he found out that “il Boggia” had been accused of attempted murder… According to the report he lured a man called Comi in his storehouse in Stretta Bagnera, under the pretext of checking the accounts . Whilst the unlucky was bending over the writing desk, “il Boggia” gave him a big blow to the head with an axe. Fortunately, after having recovered he escaped and went to report his aggressor. “Il Boggia” was considered to be mentally ill and interned for a few years in a psychiatric institution.
For these reasons the judge decided not to give in, he was now sure “il Boggia” was a killer! He tried to interrogate him without getting anything out of him… He interrogated the neighbours and the doorman as well, and he finally managed to discover something: one day somebody saw him coming down the stairs – towards the cellars – with a great basket on his back…The building was immediately searched because the judge thought the woman’s body was hidden there… How could the Monster of Bagnera walk around the city with a corpse on his back? The searching shed some light: hidden in a walled-up cupboard there was the body without legs and head!!! Help!! At that point “il Boggia” was taken down to the cellars, he broke down and confessed he has killed her with an axe…
The investigations continued – in the meanwhile “il Boggia” was imprisoned in jail – and the judge found out new evidences… He tracked down some documents belonging to a man missing few years. At that point, the judge accused him of killing another three missing people – an hodman, a trader and a blacksmith… Crivelli is convinced of his idea, however no bodies had been found yet… The searches continued and a secret room – hiding the three skeletons – was found: “il Boggia” was finally sentenced to death! He robbed his victims and then killed them with his axe. When he was asked why he did this, he answered he was just following his head… He was basically trying to be clever and pretending to be mad in order to be put into a mental hospital. However judge Crivelli knew very well he was lying:“il Boggia” was a serial killer and he had to be judged and executed. That is how the story went. “Il Boggia” was executed in front of many people who wanted him dead!
Did you hear? What a terrible story… Now continue your tour without any delay… We want to tell you about how Ambrose (who then became St. Ambrose) defeated the Devil! No, no, not Ludovico Acerbi, it was the real Devil, the one with horns and a tail! To hear a bit more about this legend, have a walk, follow our instructions and reach the beautiful basilica of St. Ambrose. Surely, you should first go in and visit its cloisters, but wait a minute, we want you to stop in the square… Do you see that column? Get closer, don’t be afraid… Do you see those two holes in the stone?…
It is said that the two holes on the column are a mark leaved by the devils’ horns: he was stuck there for two days while fighting with Sant’Ambrogio until he freed himself – after struggling for a while – and went back to hell… It is also said that if you get closer to the holes you will be able to smell an acrid sulphur stink and if you put your ears close to them you will hear shouts from hell… Furthermore, if you put your fingers within the holes you will be in luck! Try it, you will always need a few luck! Now, take your fingers away from the holes and in Via Carducci, take the bus 94 that will take you directly to the Cadorna Station, have a look at the ago, filo e nodo (needle,thread and knot) and right in front you will see Parco Sempione.
How did we end up in the park? Do we have to be scared here too? Well, you should be a bit scared, but only in the cold winters nights when the park is shrouded in fog… It is told that in the foggy winter nights – when everything is covered by the thick blanket of the cold night air – a mysterious figure appears in the distance and gets quickly closer floating like a ghost! The Lady of the Park …
She is dressed in black, and her black veil covers her face, it is said she is a beautiful lady, or better, a beautiful ghost! Once she meets somebody, she holds out her cold hand leading the unlucky through the paths in the woods where the fog keeps getting thicker and thicker, until she reaches a gate in front of a huge villa… Now, the Black Lady opens the gate with a huge key and takes her victim to the halls of the villa, where a spooky music is being played: they start dancing together… Hours of endless dances and the lady never takes off her veil! So scary! But who this black lady is and what is she hiding under the veil? At the break of day, the poor victim – that has now deeply fallen in love – takes off her veil, and what does he see? A skull! Yes, a skull with no eyes! Help! This terrible vision makes the victim run away…
The legend has it that all the men that have seen the Black Lady get crazy enough to spend the rest of their lives looking for the villa where they danced with her!Well, the story of the Black Lady is the ice upon the cake for this terror itinerary… Did you get scared? Oh come on! It was just a different way to know something more about Milan and all its hidden… Remember not to scare your little brothers or sisters with these stories, wait them to grow up a little and then – as good older brothers and sisters – you can tell them!
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