My Paranormal Bucket List - Bardi Castle

While trying to decide on my topic for this blog, my 9 year old son suggested I write about how “old” I am getting. Ahhh, the joy of kids. While I’m sure that would be a fascinating topic, I thought it might be more fun to write about another haunted location I would love to visit someday.

Nestled in the heart of Northern Italy, in the province of Parma, there is a charming and beautiful town called Bardi. The centerpiece of the town, overlooking the Emilia-Romagna valley and built on a steep outcropping of red jasper, is the medieval Castello di Bardi – the Bardi Castle.

The Bardi Castle began as a fort erected in the late 9th century. It was enlarged in 1257. Over the centuries, the Bardi Castle has served as a fortress, a home for nobility, a college, and a prison. Today, it is owned by the government and is used for cultural events and public tours.

With a rich and varied history, it is no surprise the castle is reportedly haunted. However, it is the legend surrounding these hauntings that tugs at your heartstrings. The castle was at the center of a real-life tragic love story, reminiscent of Romeo and Juliet.

Soleste, the daughter of the castle lord, and Moroello, the commander of the castle forces, were deeply in love. Against her wishes, the lord promised Soleste to another man, a union that would gain him lands and power.  It is rumored that a maid helped them set up secret meetings so that they could continue to spend time together despite Soleste’s fate.

Forbidden love is heart-wrenching on its own, but their story doesn’t end there. Moroello was sent out to battle with his troops. Fearful for the safety of her lover, Soleste watched for him every single day, desperate to see him return safely to her waiting arms.

One fateful day, Soleste spotted soldiers on the horizon. As they drew closer, she saw that the soldiers wore the enemy’s colors. Seeing them approach, she believed they had killed Moroello and were on the way to conquer the castle. Devastated by the thought of life without him, she jumped to her own death from the castle stronghold.

In a tragic twist of irony, it was Moroello, alive and well, leading the band of soldiers to the castle. Gloating from their hard-won victory, they were returning in the colors of the enemy they had defeated. Upon their arrival, Moroello was informed of his beloved’s death. Heartbroken at the news, Moroello then killed himself. It is said that the ghost of Moroello haunts the castle to this day, still searching for his lost love, Soleste.

The beauty of Northern Italy, a breathtaking medieval castle, a tale of tragic love, and a broken-hearted soldier’s ghost…..oh, what a trip this would be.

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