What is the lowest sottoportego in Venice?
The story of one of the least known but most characteristic Venetian places, a hidden place in one of the most beautiful and genuine districts of Venice, Castello. In Campo Ruga, there is the lowest sottoportego in Venice. It is called “Zurlin“, it leads into a small courtyard and, if you are more than 1 meter and sixty-five centimeters tall, you will have to lower your head to pass under it. By oral tradition of the city a ghost has been sighted in this place.
It was a rainy night in 1929 when a doctor who was walking in Campo Ruga di Castello to return home heard a woman’s voice coming right from the sottoportego Zurlin. Approaching, he saw a girl wrapped in a black shawl calling him and asking for help for her seriously ill mother. The doctor was struck by the girl’s paleness and thinness. Once he arrived and treated his mother, the doctor no longer saw the girl who in the meantime had disappeared.
When his mother woke up, he told her that the credit for her recovery had been her daughter who had suddenly warned him of her serious condition but the woman did not hesitate to tell him that it was impossible, because her daughter was dead. One detail, however, coincided with the story of the man and that of the dead girl’s mother: the black shawl.
The daughter of the sick woman when she was alive used to wear a black shawl, to make even more impression in this story, is that the man, invited by the mother to look in the wardrobe of missing daughter, found the same shawl and, when he touched it, he felt it was still damp.