14 June 2020 - Abandoned Mental Asylum In Italy

Abandoned Mental Asylum In Italy

G'day folks,

Janine Pendleton describes herself as ‘an outgoing English girl living in Manchester. Here is her vision of what she found in Italy ...

She travels the world in search of abandoned relics and lost treasures and has an insatiable drive to document these amazing decaying places, before they disappear forever. Her goal is to always present images alongside historical write-ups and thinks that exploring the stories of these places gives important context to these images.

Here is a commentary on her visit to a former Italian insane asylum.

‘I travelled to northern Italy in the summer of 2018. A summer road trip filled with awesome memories. I zig-zagged across the country, following our map chaotically littered with pins. Each pin highlighted an abandoned place.

I arrived at one pin late in the afternoon, perhaps a little too late. I was too excited to wait, so I crawled in through to a tiny opening as soon as we saw it.

I was standing at the entrance of an old Italian insane asylum. These relics are from a darker time where mental health was poorly understood. The patients were called "mentecatti", a derogatory term equating to "half-wit" or "imbecile". They were locked up in these rural hospitals called "manicomio", which translates as "madhouse". Out of sight, and out of mind.

I was not alone though, I had two friends with me. As the daylight was beginning to fade, we all split up and began shooting.

Time was of the essence! The asylum was a maze of corridors and had several floors. I searched frantically to find all the important locations; the examination room, record office, the body slab, and so on.

I traveled the halls and corridors alone checking every room and corner. Constantly aware of the darkness encroaching.

We re-convened at the entry point, just as the last of the light faded.’

Now, let’s see what they found ….

Clancy's comment: As always, I'm gob smacked that buildings like this one are allowed to rot. Surely they can be used for another purpose? Thank you, Janine.
I'm ...




  1. Janine is very brave going into these places as they would be mor than a bit creepy but look at the history and the architecture...amazing. I suppose she honors the memory of all the souls that passed through there...the forgotten. Great piece!

    1. Good comment, Bert. I felt the same when I went to four concentration camps in the 70's.

  2. I do like the old buildings, this one seemed particularly sad, compared with others you've brought us, Clancy, I think it's the fact so many poor unfortunates were incarcerated there. Such lovely architecture, that set of wrought iron banisters is superb. Tricky lighting, I would have thought, but every shot came out really well.

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