The Ghost Of Beatrice Cenci
A scary story
In Rome, there is a very famous building called
Castel Sant' Angelo.
It was built beside the River Tiber (Il Tevere)
around the year 134 AD by the Emperor Hadrian.
In Italian he is known as L'Imperatore Adriano.
Castel Sant' Angelo. Photo by Andreas Tille.
A famous bridge crosses the River Tiber and takes you to the Castel Sant' Angelo. The bridge is called
Il Ponte Sant'Angelo, meaning 'The Bridge Of Angels'.
Ten statues of angels stand along the sides.
Photos of The Bridge Of Angels, known as Il Ponte Sant'Angelo.
Top right photo by Andreas Tille.
In the year 1599, a beautiful girl was accused of being involved in a plot. She was held prisoner in the
Castel Sant' Angelo and then, on the 11th. September, she was executed with other members of her family in the square (la piazza) beside The Bridge Of Angels.
The girl was from a noble and wealthy Roman family and her name was Beatrice Cenci.
The people of Rome were not happy. They liked Beatrice
and they thought that it was unfair that she had died.
(Portrait of Beatrice Cenci by artist Guido Reni.)
It is believed that every year, on the nights
of the 10th. and 11th. September, the ghost of Beatrice walks across The Bridge Of Angels.
'I dare you to walk across the bridge in the dark,' said my big sister on the 10th. of September last year.
'Non c' è problema!' 'No problem!' I replied bravely.
There was a full moon that night. Long, black shadows of winged angels lay across the pavement of the bridge. Illuminated clouds hovered in the sky.
The dark water of the River Tiber lurked below.
'Io non ho paura!' 'I'm not scared!' I informed my sister.
Secretly, my heart was thudding with fear but I didn't
admit it because I wanted my big, scaredy-cat sister to admire my bravery.
'In bocca al lupo!' 'Good luck!' she said, as I set off.
There was nobody else on the bridge. It was just me, the angel statues and a possible ghost.
As I walked past the statue of an angel, it seemed to be watching me.
One of the tall angel statues.
Suddenly, I heard footsteps!
Mamma mia! This is it! The ghost of Beatrice is going to appear! What will she look like? Will she be a white shadow? Will she be smiling and friendly? Or will she be scary? Will she speak to me? Perhaps she will ask to be
my special friend!
The ghostly footsteps were coming nearer. I could hear them behind me. So, I began to walk faster, lowering my head and looking to the ground. I was too terrified to look behind, ahead or to the side.
'Io non ho paura!' I kept telling myself.
At that moment, an icy hand touched my shoulder.
It gripped me tightly. I stopped.
'This really is it!' I thought. 'Beatrice is here!'
Slowly, I turned around. My whole body was trembling.
I prepared myself to look at the ghostly sight.
I opened my eyes to see my big sister's silly face.
I was really pleased to see her.
'Let's run back!' I suggested. So, we ran as fast as we could, back to the start of the bridge where Mamma and Papà were waiting for us.
Although I was not lucky enough to meet Beatrice,
I would like to give some advice to anyone who intends to walk across the bridge on the nights of the
10th. or 11th. September:-
Claudia's Advice Section
1. Do not look at the statues in the dark. As you walk, just look at the ground ahead of you.
2. Do not go alone.
3. If you meet Beatrice, try to be polite, even if you
4. Take a camera.
5. Make sure that you are wearing trainers and
that you are a fast runner.
To visit Claudia's Italian Adventures Page, click HERE.