Ghost Tours: Italy - Tuscany - Pisa                            
Back to Ghost Stories               Ghost Story of the Month for March 2006!
by Agostini
Journeying on to Florence  through  the Tuscan  countryside: Lucca, Pisa, Siena, Arezzo and
other delightful towns dot the road to Pisa where who are guested of the Agostini family Villa
di Corliano. The family - and 2 resident ghosts - still welcome guest at the Villa, much as it
they were at the height of its fame in the 1770’s.

The stay at Bagni di Pisa (health giving waters are still offered to an international clientele)
and visit Pisa during one of the city’s festivals. The Villa has hosted many illustrious guests
such as Gustavus III of Sweden, Christian II of Denmark, the Royal Family of Great Britain,
Benedict Stuart Cardinal of York, General Murat, Luigi Buonaparte, Paolina Borghese,
Carlo Alberto of Savoy, the poets Byron and Shelley, and various other personages from the
history books.

Legend has it that in the Villa della Seta at Corliano along the road running at the foot of the
mount between Pisa and Lucca, there still moves the apparition of Teresa della Seta Bocca
Gaetani, of famed beauty, descendant of an ancient Pisan family and given in marriage, in
1755, to the Count Cosimo Baldassarre Agostini. It seems that the noblewoman appears
every now and then in the rooms of the mansion, moving tapestries and ornaments. Other
times she has been known to slam doors and open windows. Some of the local peasants
recall her arriving on certain nights by the light of the full moon. She appears on the drive of
the park leading a coach and six, and then stops on the bend of the Ragnaia (“Cobweb
corner”, so-called from the old name for the nets that hunters formerly used in the woods to
capture small birds) to cast a glance towards the home where she once lived happily. The
ghost, obviously of good nature, has been heard other times hurrying along and giggling in
the underground passages of the villa, beneath the large wine cellars. The years go by and
stories are told and retold, and there are still those who recall the evening in which there was
the sound of an almighty clatter as one of the crystal chandeliers of the hall crashed to the
floor. Those present dashed to the hall, only to discover on arriving there, that the chandelier
was very much in its place. And still today odd episodes occur …

The area of the Pisa hills was already an attraction for enlightened travellers in the first half
of the 1700s with the growth of the thermal spa of San Giuliano, which became a
fashionable spot for the well-off classes. The mansions on the road along the hills, already
renowned as places of gentle idleness and relaxation in the heart of the countryside and
also for their small industrial facilities for the transformation of agricultural products, soon
assumed the characteristics of true leisure resorts, just like those narrated by Carlo Goldoni
and which we can continue to enjoy today.
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