This extravagant castle was originally built in 1605 to a more simple design. During the 19th century it underwent an Arabian style makeover which took 40 years to reach completion. No attention was spared to detail, with each and every one of the 365 rooms given its own identity. During the second world war it was looted by the Germans. After that it became a luxury hotel until it closed it's doors in 1990. Since then various plans have fallen through and a very recent sale attempt was upheld by Italian courts so its future remains unknown.
I visited here with @Miss.Anthrope, a place we'd both had firmly at the top of our wish lists for some time. We could've spent hours in here but decided to air on the side of caution and keep our visit relatively short as we'd been asked to leave the area by security the day before. I guess it was pretty obvious what we were up to with camera bags and tripods peeking over the fence and we'd been spotted on cctv. On our return we made sure not to make the same mistake as they are definitely keeping an eye on the place. Derelict buildings don't come much more stunning than this.
Villa Sbertoli was built in the early 1800s by wealthy merchant Agostino Sbertoli. According to some sources he decided to turn the villa into a psychiatric hospital because he had a disabled son, whom he tried to cure all his life. On his death bed he decided to devote all his possessions to a charity for the mentally ill, even their, so that his son could feel at home. It was inaugurated as a psychiatric hospital in 1868.
During World War II it was used by the Nazis to hold prisoners but afterwards was sold to the province and used as a psychiatric hospital again. In 1978 "Law Basaglia" (a reform of the Italian psychiatric system) was passed and the hospital was forced to close. By 1990 it was abandoned completely.
Really liked it in here, the main hall is stunning and there are a few medical rooms upstairs. Perhaps a bit staged in one or two of them but interesting all the same. The building next door had some nice bits as well. Unfortunately we got off to a bad start by bumping into Jonny the security guard. He seemed like a really nice guy but it was difficult to communicate with him. Luckily @Miss.Anthropewas on hand with her mystical ability to understand everything a foreigner says in a language she doesn't speak. He wanted 20 Euros off each of us to let us inside, and that's why he was being so nice. Now I'm not really into paying for explores so we told him we had no money on us. He didn't like this predicament much so we eventually reached a settlement of 5 Euros for the both of us. A sum we could happily live with!
Nice one bruvva
There is probably already a topic about this place but since I wanted to post a video I opened this new topic in the video section
The facility was owned by a company which produced cosmetics. It was made of two parts: the laboratory for the creation and testing of new products and the factory, where products were produced for the market.
The factory is quite worn-out and not very interesting to explore, while the laboratory and the offices are pretty well mantained.
The (sadly) interesting part is that this company made a large use of animals to test their products: rats, rabbits, dogs and cats would bear unimaginable pain and eventually die just for the sake of testing cosmetics products.
In the laboratory we will find an operating room (where I suppose all kind of testing were made) and rows of cages for the animals, along with a lot of laboratory equipment still there.
I made a video about the exploration: it is in Italian but I added English subtitles (you'll have to turn them on in Youtube). Tell me if you like it, and if it is still enjoyable with the subtitles
And here are some photos:
I can't find much history about this place except it was built in the 1950s and abandoned in the 90s due to a more modern replacement being built nearby. Sadly the turbine hall has been completely gutted but the control room was absolutely pukka. A nice chilled explore with @Miss.Anthrope
2. This is what used to be inside here..... (archive photo)
3. What it looks like now. Sometimes life isn't fair.
9. Amazing that this is in such a good state compared to the rest of the building.
19. The trip wouldn't have been complete without a quick peek inside the cooling tower.
20. The smallest cooling tower I've seen I think!
The castle was built in 1860 as a summer residence on a small island. It remained in the hands of the same family until 1975 when it was sold on. Developers eventually planned to convert it into a 5 star beauty farm but they went bust in 2010 half way through the renovation. Work stopped and the castle has been up for sale ever since. Unfortunately it's in pretty poor condition now and much of it is stripped but there were a few nice bits left, especially the church which would have been epic without the scaffolding, and some other interesting finds along the way. Italy has some cool places! Visited with @Miss.Anthropeand thanks to @Andyfor the heads up with this place.
1. What it looks like from above (not my photo)
2. The first bit we found our way into, just a tiny isolated chapel room but there was something quite interesting buried underneath the hole in the floor
3. A mass grave of human skulls and bones. Nice way to start the day off eh!
4. After much hiding from strange noises we found our way inside the main building.
16. This was where the choir would have sat, hidden behind the alter.
17. Epic ceiling
19. The altar completely surrounded by scaffolding
Cheers for now.