Posted in Abandoned Places

|URBEX| The “Ghostly House” along the Martesana watercourse.

There are some stuffed animal, a big bear, some dolls, a Santa Claus probably beheaded. And a stationary clock, who knows how long, without hands. Those who pass by, along the pedestrian cycle road, cannot do whitout notice it: along the Martesana watercourse, in via Idro, here is a house that seems like something out of a horror movie. Many stop to immortalize it, on the web many people ask who are the owners (because it seems that no one has ever seen nobody). Of course, it is a ghostly place, with a collection of objects and dolls, some ruined by time, others seem more new. If there is someone who replaces them, and who is, this is also a mystery!

Posted in Abandoned Places

|URBEX| Colorno Psychiatric Hospital

Drinnen gab es mehr als tausend Patienten und tatsächlich begrüßte nicht nur psychotische Patienten, sondern auch verlassene Menschen, marginalisiert und “gefährlich” für die Gesellschaft wie Prostituierte, Alkoholiker, Vagabunden und manchmal auch kleine Kinder. Es ist seit 1979 geschlossen, und die Seelen von so vielen Leiden bleiben noch.

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|URBEX| Abandoned Carrefour in Bari.

Deserted big parking areas, fully disemboweled escalators, broken glazed into a million pieces and signs on the ground: welcome to the disturbing scenery of the former Carrefour shopping center, now only a large abandoned structure located in the huge industrial area of Bari. A macabre atmosphere that deserves to be told with a series of photographs, which has nothing to do with memory of this shopping center full of people who loved shopping and who came here more or less often, activities that took place every day, it seems until 2009.
The hypermarket was inaugurated in 2003, and the details of its abandonment are not completely clear. There are several rumors about it, and when I asked some inhabitants of the area, a man told me that simply the prices were too high, while an elderly lady shopping at the nearby supermarket (thanks a lot for willingness!) she said that some people have speculated that the shopping center is closed due to the numerous theft of goods, often not only by customers but also by the employees themselves! A security man told me that everything was fine at first, but when supermarket prices increased, and with competition from other hypermarkets, failure was inevitable.
So, the entire structure is so abandoned since 2009, and never redeveloped, at the mercy of vandals and idiots, just like other abandoned buildings along the spectral State Road 96 that goes from Bari to Modugno.
Around the structure the vegetation grows spontaneously, and the former shopping center is distributed on three levels: on the ground floor and on the first floor there are the parking areas, and on the second floor the shops and the hypermarket. The parking areas are now only a vast expanse of asphalt and someone has even stolen the manholes and electric cables (what remains now hangs from the ceiling). Next to the staircase (without a railing) leading to the next floors, there is what remains of the escalator, a rusty skeleton full of broken glass. The area used for shopping is completely devastated: it is a unique environment that runs along the entire rectangular perimeter of the structure. All shops are closed by often damaged shutters, and spontaneous vegetation is growing on the floor. From the emergency stairs (the accesses have all been walled up, but someone has opened some portals), it is also possible to climb onto the roof, where the plexiglass covers have completely collapsed. From here it’s possible see in a better way the degradation of the entire structure. On the roof, in addition to some pieces of the old sign of the shopping center, some nice idiot wrote “questa zona è pericolosa” (this is a dangerous area), with the stylized drawing of an alien. And indeed, this structure full of pigeons and rubbish, seems to be on another planet…

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Posted in Abandoned Places

|URBEX|Buonanotte Vecchio

Inside its streets it is not easy to walk, going through the grown plants and the collapsed buildings on the old pedestrian streets, but some of the old houses, the furniture, the fireplaces, the still remained beds maintain their charm in the midst of so much nature and silence.
Abandoned following a landslide in the early 70s, the village dates back to the twelfth century and in the beginning its name was “Malanotte”.
There are several legends about the origin of the name.
A curious story tells that, at the beginning, the inhabitants lost a local war. Because of this, the men had to give their wives overnight to the victorious enemy as the price of defeat. For this reason, for the defeated inhabitants, the town was called “Malanotte” while for the winners, the town was called “Buonanotte”.
According to another legend, a king passing by those parts with his retinue, in a night of storm. He stopped in the castle and give it the name of Malenotte castle. Then, in another visit, on a midsummer night, he would have exclaimed “this is a good night” and hence the name “Buonanotte” (Goodnight).
The town retained this name until 1969 when it was decided to change it with the current Montebello Sul Sangro. One of the reasons that led the inhabitants of the time to change the name of the town was because they was tired of being derided by the history of the name. Montebello sul Sangro, even today is the current new village still inhabited.
But historically speaking, the origins of Montebello Sul Sangro date back to the 12th century. It’s true that over time the village has changed several names: in the beginning it was known as “Malanotte” and later became “Buonanotte”. In the fifteenth century the village was a fief of Antonio Caldora and then of the lordship of the Annecchino’s with Raimondo. This family had come in the wake of the Caldora themselves. Over the years it changed different owners, and in 1447 Buonanotte was inhabited by 7 families, 21 in 1532, 25 in 1535, 34 in 1561, 17 in 1595 and 17 in 1732. In 1671, in the description of the Kingdom of Naples by Caracciolo-Beltrano, the town was mentioned with Malanotte name with 17 families.
Set on the ridge of the old mountain, today the old town is completely abandoned due to a landslide that slowly destroys it. The new village, not far away, rises on the eastern side of Monte Vecchio, on the left of the Sangro river of the same name. Montebello Sul Sangro is located in the Abruzzo Apennines and enjoys a beautiful view of the Maiella mountain massif.

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|URBEX|Villa Mocenigo-Mainardi

This is one of the most luxurious and important villas of Abano Terme, which hosted various famous personalities such as the playwright and writer Carlo Goldoni (who wrote “I Bagni d’Abano” here), the poet, philosopher and writer Giacomo Leopardi and the writer, adventurer and poet Giacomo Casanova. The zone was very popular among illustrious personages, and also Ugo Foscolo stayed in these parts, precisely in Villa Renier.
The Moceningo-Mainardi villa is located on the outskirts of Abano, in the “Guazzi” district and dates back to the early 18th century. It was built by the Mocenigo family, Venetian patricians who chose Abano as one of their favorite places. The villa hosted illustrious guests including and the residence gate is in wrought iron and is embellished by two Bonazza’s sculptures. With the collapse of the Serenissima Republic of Venice (treaty of Campoformio-1797), Villa Mocenigo became the property of the Trieste family, of Jewish origin, while the historical owners left Abano definitively. In 1938, the family Sacerdoti (new owners and Jews too) sold all their possessions, including villa, after having created a remarkable collection center for drying tobacco in the years when its cultivation was very popular in the Paduan countryside.
The Villa’s decline started with the Second World War when the Fascists penetrated the villa, destroying, among other things, the library that contained documents, reports, prints, rental contracts and sale, also related to the Mocenigo and, of consequence, to the history of Abano Terme. The coup de grace, then, was given in 1945 by the bombing of a train loaded with ammunition, which stopped nearby and whose explosion caused considerable damage for a radius of several kilometers. A patrimony of such high historical value seemed irreparably lost, and instead in 1968 the commissioner Leonildo Mainardi bought the villa and the attached factories starting a carefully reconstruction and modernization works. Despite this, at present, Villa Mocenigo-Mainardi is reduced to a state of almost ruin.

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|URBEX| Albergo Cervandone

“If it doesn’t burn a little
then what’s the point of playing with fire?”

The hotel, which have the name of the homonymous peak of over three thousand meters, always a destination for mineral seekers, was the symbol, at the beginning of the twentieth century, of the Belle Epoque. It was meeting place for alpinists and families from the cities who loved the Ossola mountains, where good food and rivers of sparkling wine rewarded the audacious climbers while the orchestras played waltzes and mazurkes until the early hours. In those years, was dedicated a song by the local singer Cavalier Giovanni Leoni (1846-1920) who used the pseudonym of “Pastizza“. He was also the founder of the “Pro Devero Company”, in 1910, to promote the development of the tourism in this enchanting paradise: “paradis di nost montagn, che in nissun sit igh n’han un alt compagn”.
He wasn’t a climber, or an alpinist, but a food lover, and wanted above all to emphasize in his verses an aspect of Devero that he loved: the good cuisine of the Cervandone hotel, in this years at the height of its splendor. This is the original version:

In Antighori i ghan ul Scervandon,
quel pizz ch’u gha la forma d’un crocant;
par nagh ugh vol un alpinista bon,
ma tornand ju glorios e trionfant
in Dévar, a l’albergo u trovarà
la tavla pronta e ‘l lecc par riposà.

This verses are write in one italian dialect, and translation is impossible for me, but Leoni was certainly a character. When he was 24 years, lived in Paraguay whit his brother Costantino, in Montevideo, where created the “Leoni Hermanos”, a profitable commercial activity. He bought a ship with fifteen crewmen and sailed the cold waters of Patagonia carrying all sorts of goods, until 1886 when he finally liquidated the company and returned to Italy where he lived until his death. In winter he lived in Domodossola, Bologna and Turin, while spended the summer in Mozzio, place that became, at the end, his home. For over twenty years he wrote original and satirical poems in dialect, published with the title “Rime Ossolane”.
Since 1972 the Cervandone Hotel is sadly closed and until 2003 it was owned by Enel, which had also made it accommodation for the families of who worked in hydroelectric plants. Subsequently some of its rooms and the hall were used for various events, until the end, when a century of history was destroyed by the flames and the symbolic hotel of the Alp Devero was the victim of an accident in december 2015. The owner of a B&B not far away, saw the flames in the night and gave the alarm at 5.30 in the morning, but now the hotel is still burned and haven’t the roof.

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