Often nothing is as it seems…
From the front road, what you can see is just a ruined structure with the curious turrets at the corners, something that may look like a rotten country church, but nothing more.
But you know, never stop at appearances, so we park and look for a way through the dense vegetation that surrounds this building.
Without much hope, we begin to see this structure that is spread over two floors, whit also the chapel and another building, probably a warehouses, which I later discovered was also a school and mill.
The entrance is easy through the front door wide open, so I decide, before and after a fleeting sight at the ground floor (full of farm tools and trinkets) to climb immediately to the first floor where a small hallway is lit by a perfect cut of light, enhances the ‘poor’ beauty of a wooden chair and a sad and old fire extinguisher.
Kidnapped by this glimpse, heedless of where my companions were, I started to immortalize this scene before the magic of light disappears.
The discovery continues with the bedroom, still with bed and wardrobe, ’50s farmer style and even a dresser full of brushes, personal items, various stuff… while the adjacent room was quite empty, just the beloved spiderweb on window.
I take some shots before moving to the next room that reveals all its rurality: a beautiful kitchen still furnished with a cupboard full of objects for which an antique dealer would sell his mother: glasses, masher and tools that a modern housewife would even identify!
The beautiful light that illuminates the other side of the palace, cant get here, making it difficult to see the details in the shadows, only kitchenette and gas fireplace are illuminated with dignity.
To myself I think I am in the best room, so I stop a little more and shots, thinking to find very little in the other rooms that remain.
I was wrong, it still lacks the living room… and the church!
The place is not vandalized, the two beliefs still contains small everyday objects like cups and spoons that, with the warm light that still remains there, stand out in all their decadent beauty, also accompanied by a marriage certificate hanging on the wall (but unfortunately not dated).
The door at the back of the room leads directly into the church, or rather on the choir, which seem resistant (only later I found out that I was photographing in a point without floor below) where I snap some photos of the entire volume.
A small country church, with painted blue ceiling (almost looks like a mini-Blue Chapel), in good conditions.
Still deserves to be photographed from below so I go down the stairs through a warehouse full of agricultural equipment to find myself on the altar of the chapel, where sagging and some looting have run their course.
Is the classic country church, which I can photograph without particular noteworthy, some rows of benches and a mini confessional near the entrance.
I conclude the visit through the warehouse, that, thanks to a perfect light, reveals many details, objects rich of history, memories that had been lost. But another trip awaits us and the light is short!
But the surprises are not over… once home to post-produce the photos and try to tell you about this adventure, I found out that this little building, magically becomes a village, according to the first documentation that remind us at the year 1834. The land registers of the time, tell us that Priest D. bought an home of their own use, a farmhouse with courtyard, a porch and other farmhouses. The House of D. Priest probably was a family of coal workers, who slowly begin to accumulate money and buy the land, to become, with the nineteenth century, among the wealthiest landowners in the district. Before 1850, at the other parts of the structure, is built another main building, flanked by a chapel, and connected to a farmhouse close to an arc.
It is the main building, that we were able to visit.
In the nucleus of buildings is also installed an oil mill, probably removed in subsequent years.
The manor house that combines the chapel was originally equipped with two floors, on which, in a central position, rose up another floor with principal tower.
Following the bombing during the Second World War, a violent fire partly destroyed the building. In fact in 1946, according to the documents, was declared “uninhabitable due to the war.”
The furnishings were destroyed with everything else in the house, which was later restored, but leaving out the reconstruction of the central tower. But on the corners of the counter, remain the two turrets, responsible for defense from frequent attacks of the robbers. Because from the slits, safely, you could keep track of the back sides of the house.
The interiors were simplified and modernized, avoiding reconstruct ancient painted ceilings, that was once present in the central hall.
After the many displaced people who had found refuge, left the place, the mansion was inhabited only for a few years, until 1955, then finally abandoned. Until it was rediscovered, almost by accident, by four photographers with the insane mission to return these pearls to the Italian cultural heritage.
Born in ’76, photo-reporter, musician and artist. Nowday he does not work for Ascosi Lasciti but he’s leading his personal project : the “P.L.A.I.” (italian abandoned places and locations)