Gorgeous photos by my very talanted friend Nelson Pereira during our last urbex trip to Italy.
My friends, Nelson and Michael, who I went to Italy with last month sent over some behind the scenes shots.
Up on a hill in Turscany stands a castle named Non Plus Ultra, “nothing farther beoynd”.
Sources varies as to when exactly it was built, some say 17th century, others state 18th and others dating all the way back to 780. It may very well have been a simpler castle to begin with but it has since changed.
In 1853 it passed to Panciatichi Ferdinando Ximenes d’Aragona who was an architect and who gave it the Moorish style it has today.
It contains 365 rooms, one for each day of the year and no one identical to another, among these rooms are the “Peacock room” and “Lover’s Hall”. And between the rooms, hidden doors and labyrinths in the walls.
After the world wars in the 1900′s it was turned into a luxury hotel but was later bought by a British company in 1999. This company has yet to touch the castle and so it has been left abandonned since.
As for the interiour…. are you ready?
It is not such a vandalised place thankfully although it has had it’s fair share of it like all other derelict places. In 2005 one of the weeping lion statues from 1887 were stolen from the exteriour and according to legend, anyone who violates them will face a smiliar death to the one Ferdinando suffered in 1897. He died of progressive paralysis.
It was a very successful explore and I feel privileged to have seen it in this beautiful state, before the Britts turns it into another tacky resort only for the rich.
This old hospital has stood empty since the 90′s in the province of Parma, Italy. It was originally built 1872 and intended as an asylum although the structure only allowed it to become a mental institute. In the 60′s it was hit by the anti-psychiatric movement and a group of medicine students moved in to demonstrate against violence and social discrimination towards patients, and the lack of control the patient’s families had over treatments.
It has since been left standing to rot, with most things left behind – medicine, tools, nurse’s clothes, beds… It’s a scary place with noises constantly echoing in the empty hallways, and the mental spirits still lingering.
This has by far been my all time favourite explore but unfortunately my photos don’t do it justice, it is so much more. When we walked up to it it felt as if I was in an Italian fairytale and when we went inside it felt like coming home.
Normally I’m quite scared walking around in derelict buildings, it’s as if they don’t want to be disturbed. But not in this one, here I could easily walk down the empty corridors on my own.
I have been unable to find much history on this place, other than the name Rovasenda and that it is slowly decaying in a tiny village outside Milan. I will update if I find some more, enjoy the visual tour so long.
It was extremely sad to see the beautifully painted frescos vandalised by the local kids, drawing dicks on Jesus is a lot of fun when you’re 12. It’s also a mystery how the owner/village can let it get to this sad state, that no one can save it. I’d happily move in and restore it any day.
Se we spent a long weekend in north of Italy. 3 days and 3 nights, around 2000 km driven, 5 urban explorations, many many bottles of fine wine, very few hours of sleep, and 550 photos to go through!
Flew in to Milan late at night, rented a car and drove up to our first stopover, Milan.
The next morning we woke early and headed north. We got to a lake which I’m sure is stunning in the warm summers. But we weren’t there to go swimming or boating, instead we drove upwards – up on the narrow roads until our ears got blocked and on the top of a mountain we found our goal.
The Red Cross military hospital has been empty for a very long time but a lot has been left in there to be used and abused by passers-by.
Then we drove down the mountain again and to our next goal, an empty castle. This turned out to be my favourite exploration I’ve ever done… From the moment I saw it, to when we crawled back out the window, I felt right at home and like I belonged. This is the only time I wasn’t scared by upset spirits, here I felt as if they were looking after me. I sang to them and wandered the place alone in awe.
I don’t want to sound too hippie here… back to Milan and back to normality we went to a house party and drank ourselves silly on wine and ate homemade pizza.
“You can sleep when you’re dead.” This was our motto during this trip. Late drunken nights and early mornings left us pretty red-eyed but I won’t remember how tired I was, only what I got up to.
Three big goals on the Sunday – explore an empty hospital, drive all the way to Florence, and explore a big castle, all before it gets dark. Stupid winter time.
The Ospedale di Cavatelli hospital closed for good in the 90′s with most things left in there – beds, xrays, paperwork, medicine, doctors clothes, etc. It’s an eery place so I got shit scared when we ran into some other explorers in the corridors.
No history lessons or 28 days later reports can prepare you for the place that is Non Plus Ultra. I think I spent an hour without taking one picture but just walking around with my jaw dropped. The place is incredible, I cannot wait to show you my photos from this place!
Feeling gobsmacked we drove to our hotel in Florence for a quick washup before going for dinner. The Italians have a flare for making good food but of course you already knew that. Even the simplest things like spaghetti in garlic butter tastes 10 times better than when I make it. How is that?
Holy “water” is best enjoyed on the church steps.
For the last day we thought to take it a bit easier so we only hit one exploration – the Occulus tower. We went there for the tower itself but didn’t realise the destillery was so big and consisted of so many buildings. But as we wanted to spend a few hours in Venice before heading back to Milan we only gave it an hour.
Driving over the water into Venice. This city is just as magical as you think it’s going to be and just as unreal. We didn’t have long so we just did a little walk around and filled our tummys with pizza before having to speed to the airport and back to London.
I love history and learnt so much about the Roman times and Italy’s greatness but I could never imagine how different it would be to see it for real. You can smell the history in the air; in the buildings; and in the food, people and culture. Italy was never on top of my list over countries I wanted to visit for some reason but it proved to be so wonderful I can’t wait to go back and explore more of it.
On our way to Venice and last day of our Italian roadtrip we visisted this old destillery. Shattered from the weekend’s adventures, my inspiration was running extremely low at this stage. We only stayed an hour but this could easily take an entire day due to the size of the complex.
It’s a tired place and although it’s been abandonned for a long time, it has surprisingly little vandalism so well worth a visit. I’m sure the view from the tower is quite something too, if it wasn’t so foggy that day…