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Ca’ Dario

A cursed palace?

Ca’ Dario is a historic residence overlooking the Grand Canal in Venice, unmistakable among all for the sloping shape (due to ancient collapse of the foundations), the elegant rose windows and polychrome marble.

Yet, so much beauty, opulence and admiration have always been accompanied by a sinister reputation. A real ‘curse’ that would chase its owners (and not only), and which already affected the heirs of its creator (1479) and first owner, Giovanni Dario, and then continued spreading murders, suicides, bankruptcies, misfortunes of all kinds among those who have tried to ‘own’ the Palace. Until its last great owner: Raul Gardini, who committed suicide in 1993.

In 500 years of history, this extraordinary palace has been given bloody and frightening epithets and nicknames: from “the curse of Ca’ Dario”, to “the cursed palace” and “the house that kills”. Venetian people describe it as a “palason sensa el paron”, a palace that cannot find a master. Or, perhaps, it simply does not want one.

But what is true in all this? We will try to find out through historical documents, photographs, stories, rumors and legends.

Gianluca Sposito (1973) is an Italian lawyer and a law historian. He teaches “Legal argumentation and trial rhetoric” at the University of Urbino.

The author Gianluca Sposito on the balcony on the Grand Canal, Venice – Ph. Massimo Cascone © 2021


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