There are few islands with stranger pasts than Isola La Gaiola — situated about 30 yards off the coast of Naples.
Atop the island is a sizable villa and cobblestone walkways that lead to various scenic spots. Surrounded by bright blue waters, the island is breathtaking. Any rational human being would wonder why La Gaiola is abandoned — this is where things get funky.
The island is said to be cursed. Beginning in the 1920s, strange things began to happen. The island’s owner Hans Braun was murdered. Shortly thereafter, his wife drowned in the sea.
Otto Grunback became the new owner, and he died of a heart attack on the island. The next owner committed suicide.
If that isn’t enough devastation, German steel industrialist Baron Karl Paul Langheim lost his entire fortune while living there.
This opened the door for the head of Fiat, Gianni Agnelli, to purchase the island. His only son then committed suicide. Agnelli was devastated and decided to train his nephew Umberto Agnelli to take over his role at Fiat. Unfortunately, Umberto contracted a rare form of cancer and died.
Paul Getty assumed his fortune would be different as owner, so he bought La Gaiola. His grandson was soon kidnapped.
And finally, Gianpasquale Grappone was the last owner. He made some criminal business moves, was tossed in jail, and lost his insurance company.
It’s safe to say, no one else wants to take a chance on buying the island. This opens the door for tourists to enjoy exploring the island.
When you visit Naples, you can easily reach the island by boat. The above photos detail what you will find.