In the historical centre of Città di Castello is Palazzo Vitelli alla Cannoniera, a magnificent Renaissance residence housing important works of art and home to the Municipal Art Gallery. Inside its elegant rooms, the ghost of Sora Laura is said to roam.
This story dates back to the first half of the 16th century when, after marriage, the condottiero Alessandro Vitelli and the noblewoman Angela Paola dei Rossi di San Secondo Parmense decided to build the palace. The condottiero was known to be a womanizer and soon fell in love with a young woman named Laura. In order not to be discovered, Alessandro had his wife moved to another family palace and reserved Palazzo Vitelli alla Cannoniera for his lover. While waiting for her lover to return from his military campaigns, the young woman devoted herself to embroidering handkerchiefs, but one day, tired of waiting for her lover, she saw a handsome knight from the window of her room and, to attract his attention, threw a handkerchief out of the window. The knight, fascinated by the young woman, accepted her invitation to bring the handkerchief back to the palace. After the first passionate encounters, for fear of being discovered by Vitelli, she decided to use a trick to make her lover fall into a trapdoor where an atrocious death awaited him, pierced by the blades of the bottom. The same fate befell other young men, seduced by her beauty, until the day she herself was killed, by a hitman sent by Vitelli's wife, who discovered the betrayal.
Legend has it that the ghost of the young woman, trapped in the palace, is tormented by remorse and is still seeking forgiveness. It is said that some photometric surveys and acoustic monitoring carried out in 2012 seem to have captured the shadow of a young woman in Renaissance clothing.