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Ghosts of Castel Sant'Angelo
08 February 2018

Ghosts of Castel Sant'Angelo

In the night between 10 and 11 September, a legend says that the ghost of Beatrice Cenci appears, from 1577, date of his death, on the bridge leading to Castel San'Angelo. When the bells mark the stroke of midnight a woman figure walking silently along the bridge, holding a human head, and after facing the Tiber, disapparing mysteriously into nothingness.

The History
Beatrice Cenci belonged to a powerful and aristocratic family of the late Renaissance in Rome forced to suffer, as a child, the father's violence. After years of abuse, Beatrice decided to contact the Pope by a letter  to tell him her story, hoping to get out of this unfortunate situation, but it was not in the least heard.

When desperation took over, Beatrice, along with his brothers and his alleged lover, he decided to kill Francesco Cenci. One day in 1598 to the father was stuck a nail in the skull and one in the throat and was thrown out of a window, to simulate an accident. The body was immediately hidden, but the absence of the nobleman was immediately noticed, the guards found the body after careful research and after noting that the wounds were not compatible with the accidental fall decided to interview family members to clarify the Cenci what happened.

So after exhausting torture corporal Beatrice confessed his father's murder and was sentenced along with his brother and mother to the gallows. The people of Rome who was aware of the misfortunes of the family tried to prevent them to be executed, but without success; Pope Clement VIII without hearing any appeal decreed the death of the entire family , that was beheaded in front of Castel Sant'Angelo September 11, 1599.

The Ghost
After that sad day where a whole family was beheaded, the soul of Beatrice began to wander the deck and also many swore they had seen her in the nearby church of San Clemente, a demonstration of the fact that his tormented soul never found peace, even after death.

Even after 200 years after his death, his statue located in the graves San Pietro in Montorio, was destroyed and its head was used, as it is said, to play ball by the military.

This sad story is commemorated by a plaque in 1999, during the five hundredth anniversary of the death, on the way to Monserrato Street.

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