You guys ever get e-mails that really make your day? Aside from the encouraging e-Cards I send to myself, today my inbox happily received a message from Frank. A wildly talented urban exploration photographer from Vienna, Frank has graced this blog twice already with two beautifully eerie urban exploration articles, Haunting Urbex Photos from Berlin: Chem Labs, Asylums, and More and Light Painting Abandoned Europe. To summarize his e-mail, Frank just got back from another enviable urban exploration photo trip. This time he explored several abandoned buildings in Italy. The photographs had been processed, and he was interested in sharing with us all. After seeing the shots, paper-toweling up my slobber (drool is a natural bi-product of viewing Frank’s urban exploration photography so don’t feel embarrassed when it happens to you), I replied that The Unframed World could squeeze him in.
Italy – 2 ½ days and 2400 kilometers
Just a weekend trip to Italy? Let me tell you this, it felt much longer! In June, Stygian Echo, Mr. Monster and I met up at a Friday afternoon near Vienna, Austria and began our small journey. It took us over 8 hours but we finally reached our first stop just before midnight, a hotel in North Italy.
The first station on our trip was a hydro-electric power plant, known as “il Scuneo.” It’s a very unique industrial site featuring a parquet floor and three magnificent old generators from Brown Boveri. The whole plant is very well preserved with only a few traces of vandalism. I hope this place will survive the next few decades. Perhaps it will even be converted into a museum, which would be more than appropriate.
(View the whole “il Scuneo” shoot on Frank’s flickr photostream here.)
After il Scuneo, we drove to an abandoned psychiatric hospital near Milano. The condition of the hospital was completely different from il Scuneo. Everything was heavily vandalized. At first we were disappointed, but after some time we managed to find some nice corners in the compound. By chance we also met a fellow explorer from Italy, with whom we are still in contact
(Full photostream from this abandoned asylum here.)
In the afternoon we left the hospital (and a heavy thunderstorm) and drove 300 kilometers to Tuscany, where we arrived in the late evening. The next morning we had to get up early to drive to our main destination for the day: “Non Plus Ultra”, a castle in a very remote area. The castle itself was built in the 17th century, but the interior is Moorish in style from the middle of the 18th century. We had already seen pictures before, but this didn’t prepare us. The castle has an otherworldly beauty, pictures alone can hardly give you the impression of how gorgeous this place is. The name “Non Plus Ultra” indeed is fitting. It really is a shame that this wonderful place is slowly decaying.
We left NPU around noon to travel to our final destination, the Occulus Tower. Shame on me, but I only managed to get one halfway decent shot from this place. The tower itself is quite odd. I have no idea what purpose it once served.
After an hour at the tower, we already had to leave Italy. Around midnight we finally arrived back in Vienna. In retrospect, I can say that this was one of my most successful trips ever. We managed to see two of the best abandonments in Italy (and possibly Europe), were never caught by security, and also brought back many good memories (as well as some decent pictures too).