Portrait

       The Italian Job - Part 3    Day 4   Today was going to be a day i have waited for, for a number of years. The first location was one i had wanted to see for ages..  We arrived into town nice and early and made our way to the access, lucky for us it was nice and easy, and there i was standing in Manicomio di Rosetti, “ Manicomio” is Italian for Mental hospital.   I was excited to wonder around this old Asylum, there was hardly any damage by vandals here so it was only the natural decay and nature reclaiming this place, so its really photogenic.   Manicomio di Rosetti was Built in 1871 the hospital was a transformation of other buildings that were originally a hospital of charitable institutions, and later a military college. The hospital was used to treat the mentally ill, with electroshock therapy used extensively here, along with experimental operations on the nervous system. Facilities included a laboratory of clinical research, one of pathology, one radiology, one of electrotherapy and an operating room for intervention to the nervous system. The asylum closed down in the early 1980s and has been abandoned ever since  Now before i go on i just want to say that this place sits firmly in number one spot of my most favourite explores today, the long corridors with vines growing in through windows, the natural decay, the colours it must have been one hell of a place when it was being used.   We spent 3hrs inside and to be honest i think i could have spent another 3hrs, i’m already planning a revisit, I mainly shot the building while same shot both portraits and the building.   Here is a little gallery of what we manged to shoot  (Click to enlarge)      


  

  


 
   
    
      

        

        

        
          
             
               
                 
                      
                 
                
               
             
          

          
        

      

        

        

        
          
             
               
                 
                      
                 
                
               
             
          

          
        

      

        

        

        
          
             
               
                 
                      
                 
                
               
             
          

          
        

      

        

        

        
          
             
               
                 
                      
                 
                
               
             
          

          
        

      

        

        

        
          
             
               
                 
                      
                 
                
               
             
          

          
        

      

        

        

        
          
             
               
                 
                      
                 
                
               
             
          

          
        

      

        

        

        
          
             
               
                 
                      
                 
                
               
             
          

          
        

      

        

        

        
          
             
               
                 
                      
                 
                
               
             
          

          
        

      

        

        

        
          
             
               
                 
                      
                 
                
               
             
          

          
        

      
    
   

  
     
    
       
  

 


  



 
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     Sadly, it was now time to leave and on to the next awesome location and another tricky/difficult access.  Next up is a location called Teatro Balconi a stunning theatre that looked like it had been left abandoned for a very long time. Getting in this location would involve climbing walls, going through holes and finally using climbing ropes and a ladder to get in, it was interesting to say the least. But sometimes you need to put the effort in to see these incredible locations.  Sadly i couldn’t find any history at all about this grand theatre, it was obvious it had been left to rot for a number of years due to the level of decay inside. But it was one of those locations that defiantly had the wow factor and i’ll just let the photos do the talking….     

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


      

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


      

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


       An incredible theater that has just been left to rot away over time But anyway it was time to leave and head off to our last location of the day and the second Asylum of the day, although this one wouldn’t be as photographic as the first one it was still going to be a good one.   Manicomio di Voghera was built in 1876 in a neoclassical style, and was nicknamed “the Painful City”. This manicomio was huge and has an awful history of hardship amongst its inmates, people were sent there to be hidden from society. Once a patient had been admitted here they very rarely released back into the community, this was mainly down to the ruthless treatment by the founder Cesare Lombroso who’s patients just became ‘lab rats’ for his experiments, where they suffered all kinds of abuse.  Any violent inmates were locked away in a circular area of cells known as the Rotunda. The circular cells arranged around a semi-circular corridor had no corners and the beds were fastened to the ground. The asylum was eventually closed down in the 1990’s   After finding our way in we made our was to the Rotunda first as that was the most photogenic part, then we went off and shot a few dark portraits, soon it was time to head off to find that nights airbnb and some well earned beer, food and sleep.

The Italian Job - Part 3

Day 4

Today was going to be a day i have waited for for a number of years, the first location was one i had wanted to see for ages..

We arrived in the town nice and early and made our way to the access, lucky for us it was nice and easy, and there i was standing in Manicomio di Rosetti, Manicomio is Italian for Mental hospital. I was excited to wanderer around this old Asylum, there was hardly any damage by vandals here so it was only the natural decay and nature reclaiming this place, so its really photogenic.

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       The Italian Job - Part 2    Day 3   4.30am and my alarm is going off. I reach over and hit snooze and just before i drop back off to sleep i suddenly realise i need to get up and get my stuff together as we at setting off back to Chateau LB at 5am.   So we arrive a little past 6am, park up and start the walk through the woods again. All of us hoping everyone is fast asleep when we get there this time. As we come out through the woods there is an air of silence “awesome” we all say and run over to the access point and within 2 mins we were all inside. As we look around we realise we are in the library so we make our way in to the rest of the building and WOW what a building.  Stunning long corridors, beautiful decor and one of the best spiral stairs i have seen. We headed up to the top of the stairs and waited until the sun came up to give us more light to be able to shoot. Whilst waiting for the light i was able to shoot the spiral stairs       

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


         

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


      

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


       Now the light was there we set about shooting with Kerry and the lovely corridor and piano, always keeping an eye outside to make sure everyone was still asleep and hadn’t seen us inside. After a few more shots of the building and another of the spiral but with Kerry lying on i went for a quick walk around and stumbled on a incredibly stunning chapel, quickly i took the shot and went back to the others, packed up and headed back out and to the car, all very pleased we had manged to get in and out without being seen. With smiles on our faces as we had just nailed our plan for the Chateau completely then we headed off to the last location in France  After stopping off at the last location in France, which to be honest did disappoint a little, i had seen a photo online of a lovely conservatory with a piano in it but when we found it the piano had been removed and renovations had started, we shot a few photos and then left and started off on our long drive through the Alps and into Italy       

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


     We decided that we would move to the last location of the day after about a hour of being at the Villa, to tell you the truth i wasn’t looking forward to having to go down the same way we came up but actually it wasn’t half as bad as the way up. We were soon at the bottom and on our way to the final location.                                                                                                     Villa Carpeneto was the name of the next location, this neo-baroque style villa in its current form dates back to the 17th century, but there are records of a building existing on this site date way back to the 15th century. The Graneri family were the first to give the building a makeover back in the 16th/17th century and then another makeover was commissioned in the late 17th century and the work was completed by  Francesco Valeriano Dellata di Beinascoa a famous artist.    So this was my second visit to this location and upon entering it appears that some renovation or thieves have been in because the ground floor has all been removed now, and with light fading and we were all tired we decided to just do a couple of architecture shots and then make out way to the Hotel and some well earned beer and food.   As we sat drinking and eating another pizza we talked about the next days activities, the next 2 days were going to be the best of the trip.  To be continued………              After what seemed like the longest trip ever we finally arrived in Turin and our first location of the Italy part of our trip, the first location was called Villa Dell' Oracollo.       Now we had been told that the way to this Villa was difficult but wow we never realised just how hard it was going to be. The climb was up a really very steep hill though the vines and brambles and the ground was loose soil so you just couldn’t get a footing, eventually we made the top, knackered and sweating we found our way in to the Villa.     We were greeted by some stunning architecture and colours and a grand entrance with pillars, as we wanted to get to the hotel early today we took no time in setting up our cameras and shooting. Sam went off with Kerry to get some portraits while i shot the building. Unfortunately i was unable to find much history on this one, it must have been one hell of a home when it was occupied.

The Italian Job - Part 2

Day 3

4.30am and my alarm is going off, i reach over and hit snooze and just before i drop back off to sleep i suddenly realise i need to get up and get my stuff together as we at setting off back to Chateau LB at 5am.

So we arrive a little past 6am, park up and start the walk through the woods again, all of us hoping everyone is fast asleep when we get there this time. As we come out through the woods there is an air of silence “awesome” we all say and run over to the access point and within 2 mins we were all inside. As we look around we realise we are in the library so we make our way in to the rest of the building and WOW what a building.

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       The Italian Job - Part 1      Way back in April/May 2018 myself and my friend Sam spoke about a week long tour in Europe with models shooting them in and around forgotten buildings, at that point it was just a talk, by the time August came around we had the route planned, locations planned, model Kerry booked in and all the places we were going to stay all booked.  The plan was to set off in to France, drive down and into Italy, spend 4 days in Italy and then drive back up through Switzerland and Belgium, stopping at abandoned buildings shooting Kerry and the architecture along the way.  France has an abundance of grand abandoned buildings from incredible Chateau’s to stunning Chapels, the architecture is just stunning and also this makes for beautiful back drops for portrait photography.  So the first day we started off at a location called the Blue Castle, this is a lovely big chateau given its name for a stunning blue sitting room. It was a massive shame that when we entered the blue room we found it had been attacked by vandals and was now looking in a sorry state, we stayed for a bit and shot some portrait photos with Kerry in a nice bedroom but we were soon on our way to the next location.  ET Church was the next location, it has been given this name due to the fact it looks it could belong on a distant planet, I think they could use this church as a Jedi Temple in a Star Wars film. Most of the village this church is in was destroyed in the second world war including this church, the villagers came together to have the church reconstructed, this was completed in 1959     

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


     We stayed here for a while and shot the incredible architecture and then some more portrait photos, i had been to this location a few years before but Sam and Kerry hadn’t seen it and were amazed something like this is left unused…  As we had been up all night traveling we headed off to the first airbnb, on the way we checked out a couple of other locations but we could get in them.    Day 2     

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


       We started early as we had a lot of locations to try and many miles to the next airbnb. First stop was a beautiful chapel but there was no way in, next up was another chapel but again no way in, this wasn’t the start to the day we wanted. Next up was a chateau myself and Sam had been too a few weeks before so we hoped it would be second time lucky again….     When we arrived the back door was wide open so luck was on our side, this is such a beautiful chateau, rumoured to be have been once occupied by a former professor who if true clearly like a spot of painting and experimenting  from all the chemistry equipment left behind such as: test tubes,  syringes, bottles, cylinders and beakers and we found many paintings scattered around the house and a large collection in the attic, as well  as a small studio in an upstairs room. We stayed here quite a while, shot some awesome portraits and the rooms.    This Chateau is defiantly one of the best ones i have seen in the last 6years. It always astounds me what some people leave behind. This house must have been left empty for a long time due to the natural decay that is creeping in.   But each room has items left in it as if the owner has just popped out to the shop and this makes each room incredibly photogenic         

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


      

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


       Back on the road again as we headed down to the south of France, we stopped off at a location call Chateau du theatre which if we could have got in would have been one of the highlights of the trip but we found that the way in had been freshly boarded up. But we didn’t dwell on this we just moved on to the last location of the day Chateau LB which turned out to be one of the the oddest experience i’ve had at an abandoned building.   As we arrived from the moment we parked up we could hear distant music, as we walked through the woods towards the Chateau the nearer we got the louder the music got. We came out of the woods and saw the house and wow what a stunning location but we then realised where the music was coming from…… the was a hippy festival going on in the grounds.  There was people and tents everywhere, lucky for us no one took any notice of us wandering around but we decided it was too risky to try and enter the building with all these people around so we headed off back to the car…. on the way to the airbnb all the talk was about the location and the consensus was that we had to go back and try again but we decided that first thing in the morning was the better time, we just hoped that we could get there while everyone was still asleep.  Too be continued……

The Italian Job - Part 1


Way back in April/May 2018 myself and my friend Sam spoke about a week long tour in Europe with models shooting them in and around forgotten buildings, at that point it was just a talk, by the time August came around we had the route planned, locations planned, model Kerry booked in and all the places we were going to stay all booked.

The plan was to set off in to France, drive down and into Italy, spend 4 days in Italy and then drive back up through Switzerland and Belgium, stopping at abandoned buildings shooting the Kerry and the architecture along the way.

France has an abundance of grand abandoned buildings from incredible Chateau’s to stunning Chapels, the architecture is just stunning and also this makes for beautiful back drops for portrait photography.

Read More