Azzurrina

 

The legend of Azzurrina doesn’t seem to have any actual tie to historical events, but it has evolved in very peculiar ways until it became a sort of major tourist attraction for the village of Montebello di Torriana near Rimini, where it spawned a small local industry.

Azzurrina (“little blue girl”) was supposed to be the daughter of lord Uguccione di Montebello, born in 1370 and mysteriously disappeared forever on the summer solstice day of June 21st, 1375. Her name derives from the color of her hair. The child was in fact an albino: since her pale complexion and white hair at the time were thought to be the mark of a witch, her mother tried to dye her hair with herbs and coal – but the black dust didn’t stick, leaving just a light blue tint. The only way to protect Azzurrina from the persecution of the villagers was then to keep her segregated within the castle walls and guarded by two trusted men, called Domenico and Ruggero.

The day of the solistice Azzurrina’s father was away to fight in one of the frequent local feudal wars and a storm kept the child inside, where she played with a ball of rags. As she was rolling and chasing it in the corridors, running towards the only hexagonal room of the castle, the ball fell in a small underground cellar normally used to store snow, but empty at the moment. Under the watchful eyes of the guards, the child climbed down the ten steps of the stair to the cellar. As they repeated during many interrogations, they suddenly heard a scream and when they rushed to check what happened the room was completely empty. At that very moment, the storm ceased. Today visitors can take a guided tour of the castle and peek into the cellar, but not enter it both out of superstition and for fear of some secret passage that could lead them to harm. This would amount to a simple ghost story… but for some reason on every anniversary year ending with a 0 or a 5, at midnight of the solistice day, all around the castle the crying of a child can be heard, followed by fading heartbeat-like thumps.

Not only this, but the castle also contains an ancient safe that apparently is found open every single day even if it is locked just as frequently. Surveillance tapes show a ghostly figure passing near the safe, briefly stopping, and vanishing.