Siena, Camporegio’s ghost :The mistery of the nun

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👻👻 Siena , Camporegio’s ghost :The mistery of the nun ( By Marì Regoli- CB)

Siena is well known for its ‘contrade’, parts of the city, that every year fight to win the ‘cencio‘: a painting given as reward to the winner of the Palio horse race . A detail:  all of  the seventeen ‘contrade’ have their headquarters in ancient buildings within the Middle Age’s town walls.

Rumors are…that within the old rooms, restless spirits may walk at night or so it seems to happen in Camporegio in the premises of the ‘contrada’ of the Drago (dragon).

Contrada DRAGO
Contrada DRAGO

After the Second World War, tales and rumors about strange and inexplicable events spread even though no one openly spoke about ghosts.

Long time ago, several rooms, now property of the ‘contrada ‘, as well as its small church,  were part of the large nunnery of S. Catherine of the Heavens. The convent was started in the 15th century by a Sienese lady and it used to welcome both noble and lower-class women. The nunnery was suppressed in 1787 by the Grand Duke of Tuscany and one of its churches was granted to the ‘contrada’ of Drago that needed one.

As you probably know, in the old times, many young men and women entered the cloister, took their vows, not answering to a holy call, but for more earthly and practical reasons.

Aristocratic families frequently used monasteries and nunneries to get rid of too many sons and daughters. Thus, as times change but human beings remain very similar during the centuries, I am reasonably sure that these ancient walls are full of untold secrets.

Similarly, I am not surprised to hear that a spirit may be wandering among the silent rooms; I am just surprised to hear stories about only one ghost!

Anyway, many people in Siena know the legend of the ghost of the Drago.  It is the troubled spirit of a nun who lived in the 18th century and died a terrible death. According to the tale, the poor creature was found guilty of having lost her virginity while in the convent and, for this reason, she was sentenced to death. The poor girl, called Monica, was buried alive in a room with a big window facing Siena (In the headquarter of the Drago-contrada in Siena, such a room with a window does really exist)

The legend says that her restless spirit, still nowadays, displays her suffering and anger by making plates fall to on the kitchen floor, moving around things with invisible hands and making a lot of noise within empty rooms, thus scaring whoever is in the vicinity.

Mystery-Tuscany-la-Diana
Mystery-TUscany-la-Diana

Moreover, it seems that the nun has chosen a flag to show her presence. This flag, known as the nun’s flag, folds and unfolds all by itself and without any wind. Whoever wraps the flag (hosted within the contrada venue) knows that it will be a useless job because, after a while, it will find it unfolded again

Bandiera DRAGO
Bandiera DRAGO

Now the nun’s flag is used by the people of the Drago as an oracle to foretell the fortune of their beloved ‘contrada ‘.

The story is gruesome and very sad. I am almost sure that no one has ever looked for proofs of the story by checking for remains underneath the floor of the “famous room”; actually we do not really want to know.

Everyday life within the Contrada goes on as always: everybody knows about the story and the nun’s ghost is just part of the Drago Community life. Sacred and profane, legends and traditions, history and fantasy…in a word: life.

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