And it is precisely by citing the famous single of the Neapolitan singer Set free: "Gaiola Lucky Charm”, Which we tell you about one of the most unusual and surreal legends of our cultural heritage, a story that in some ways still remains unresolved.

Sott’a luna, Gaiola portasfortuna
The island of Gaiola. Photo by Valerio Iovane

Did you know that The island of Gaiola is called by the Neapolitans theCursed Island? It is said that the islet is "Jellato”, And that it brings bad luck to whoever lives there. In fact, there were numerous "restless fortunes"That populated that small strip of land, that scale of tuff between the waves of the sea on which they built a villa in 1874, a villa that had nothing to envy to a very humble one Rosenheim Mansion or to a shimmering one Overlook Hotel.

Sott’a luna, Gaiola portasfortuna
Pausilypon Park

May has now arrived, and as Liberato also reminded us, always him, with his summer musical releases to the rhythm of trap, raeggeton and overwhelming loves, the summer is upon us: soon the infinite and unspeakable expectations of the C31 will arrive, hot days a Posillipo, the spasmodic and blind search for the sea, if only to see it a little, savor it a little.

May that's how it is, and while you are at work in the heat or while you are studying in a half-broken library you think of the sea, that infinite blue sea of July and August, and here is that the heart is lightened a little, nothing can be done about it, in our part it happens just like that. Even if that sea is radioactive and full of oil wastes from the Port of Naples, don't worry, we love it all the same.

Sott’a luna, Gaiola portasfortuna
Palace of the spirits of Marechiaro

But let's go back to our daring tales: why the jewel of the Submerged Park of Gaiola, the spearhead of our Posillipino coastline that extends from Borgo Marechiaro at the Baia Trentaremi, has the dirtiest record of Cercei Lannister, Of Rodion Romanovic Raskol'nikov?

The chronicles that gave rise to the legend:

But let's start from the beginning: in 1920s the famous villa was owned by the unfortunate Swiss Hans Braun, the man who was found dead one evening and wrapped in a carpet; it is said that shortly afterwards his wife was also recovered from suicide at sea. Nobody knows the reason for this tragedy, some suspect that the end of the spouses is somehow connected to the figure of Elena Von Parish, who also disappeared during her stay at the villa, hosted by Braun: on a stormy night she was carried away by the waves as she returned to the island via a dirt path that once connected the Gaiola to the mainland.

The villa then suddenly passed to the German Otto Grunback, who shortly after died of a heart attack under suspicious circumstances.

Unfortunately, a very similar fate befell the pharmaceutical industrialist Maurice Yves Sandoz who, having fallen into bankruptcy, committed suicide in a Swiss asylum convinced that he had lost all his inheritance.

But we undoubtedly remember among the most illustrious owners Gianni Agnelli, who unfortunately suffered the death of many relatives and for this reason never gave peace. The villa was then bought by the millionaire Jean Paul Getty, whose grandson was kidnapped by the 'Ndrangheta, and to which, after the young man's ear amputated, the family Getty paid a ransom of ben 17 million dollars.

The islet of Gaiola was finally sold to Gianpasquale Grappone, who became involved in the downfall of his insurance company; he remembers with horror that when the villa was put up for auction, the wife of Grappone lost his life in a car accident.

Sott’a luna, Gaiola portasfortuna
Breathtaking view-Marechiaro. Photo by Cristina Bianco

Sometimes it is said that places absorb the pain and agony of which they are witnesses, that in some way it is possible to perceive their suffering, the melancholy of what has been. Maybe if we paused for a second to admire those wonderful ruins of the Submerged Park of Gaiola, perhaps we too would feel a certain darkness.

It seems paradoxical that among the splashes, the dives from the rocks and the spritzes one can approach, with two strokes of swimming or with a kayak, a cursed island.

But is it really so?

Arianna Giannetti

Sitography & Bibliography

[1] Green me, The island of gaiola. Marta Albè

[2] The Curse of Gaiola, the cursed island of Posillipo, Vesuvius Live- Claudia Ausilio

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