Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Queen Bee and The Cursed Castle

Odious Women Tour:  Known for her sexual exploits, Queen Joanna II (1373-1435) was called The Queen Bee as well as the vampire or crocodile who ate her lovers after killing them.  She lived at the Castle Capuano (now civic offices) and purportedly took her many lovers to a castle in Posilipo.  The castle purportedly was known as La Sirena and after Joanna's death a curse had fallen upon the place.

Castle Capuano

Two hundred years later, Princess Anna Carafa inherited the villa and ordered the renown architect Cosimo Fanzango to renovate it.  Many stories were told about Anna's lavish parties here.  In particular, Matilde Serao in her  book about the legends of Naples tells that Anna Carafa competed with her niece Mercede de la Torre for the love of another man.  One night, the two women had a fight, after which Mercede was never seen again.  It was said that Mercede's ghosts haunts the Palazzo Donn'Anna still today.  You can't enter the building, but the outside stands prominently along Via Posilipo.

Cosimo Fanzango never completed renovations of the palace.  Instead, Anna's husband, a Spanish viceroy, had to leave back to Spain.  Anna remained in Naples taking up residence in a Portici villa and dying a lonely woman.


Natalie said...

What a cool back story! I love when villas have a crazy history

Barbara said...

Hi Natalie! Yes, me too. I especially love spooky villas and Posillipo is filled with villas that are said to be haunted. :)