Businessman buys Italy’s ‘haunted island’

Businessman buys Italy’s ‘haunted island’


Luigi Brugnaro, the president of Umana Holding, an investment firm, offered €513,000 to the cash-strapped Italian government for a 99-year lease to redevelop Poveglia, an uninhabited island, during an auction on Tuesday morning, RAI News reported.

poveglia3The 52-year old former president of the Venice unit of Confindustria, the Italian employers association, has pledged not to undertake speculative development on the island after a group of Venice locals launched their own bid to prevent it from being closed off to the public and turned into “yet another luxury resort”.

The campaigners from neighbouring Giudecca clubbed together to offer a lower bid of €160,000.

Brugnaro also promised that the island, which was used as a quarantine station for people with infectious diseases in the 18th century, would remain public.