I Photographed an Abandoned Hospital in Italy
Italy is a well-known destination among people who love to explore abandoned landmarks in Europe. Over the past 50 years, the country has experienced extensive urbanization. Many people moved away from rural areas, seeking the modern amenities, opportunities, and comfort that bigger cities could provide. As a result, many smaller communities died out or became significantly smaller, leaving much former infrastructure, homes, public buildings, churches, and other sites behind. Entire villages became ghost towns and are still here, a silent relic of a bygone era and a reminder of a not-too-distant past that somehow already feels so far away.
Whenever you venture inside or near one of these places, you can instantly feel something in the air. It’s almost as if you could close your eyes and see what the place used to look like before people moved on. One might encounter this feeling when exploring “Ospedale di Segni,” an abandoned hospital located in Italy near Rome, the capital. It’s not always easy to spot this hospital because the area itself is filled with ancient buildings and older features. Since the building is also from the 19th century, the concept of what a hospital looked like might differ from the image of this type of facility that comes to our mind today. One might imagine something different when looking for a hospital building. Perhaps something more austere and minimalistic than the picturesque stone walls and wooden portals that define the exteriors of the hospital, now crammed among other local buildings, some of which are also in a state of decay and abandonment. Upon facing the former hospital, visitors are greeted by enormous wooden doorways adorned with cast iron accessories, blending in fairly seamlessly with the medieval-age surroundings. The hospital was made possible by the generosity of Don Gaetano Rossi, a local priest who donated the building for it to be turned into a hospital for the local community in 1812 (a hundred years prior to the sinking of the Titanic, just for context!)
At the time, the town was in dire need of hospital facilities, so this was a major breakthrough, enhancing the quality of life of the population. Over the years, the hospital became increasingly outdated. In addition, new hospitals were created nearby, eliminating the need for such a facility.
Today, the abandoned hospital in Italy is in an extreme state of decay, and it might be somewhat dangerous to venture inside. In particular, the upper floors are on the verge of collapse, and there are many holes in the walls and ceilings, exposing the interiors to the elements. In addition to the bare halls, still bearing the plaques tributing doctors, donors, and people who contributed to the hospital or worked there, there are still a few accessories left: decaying bed frames, skeletons of old medical equipment, some rotting bedding, and even remnants of old medicine bottles and flacons. One of the most interesting rooms is perhaps the dentistry station, which still displays the remnants of an old dentistry chair. The bathroom and lavatories, with their long slab sinks, are also a sight to behold.
Years ago, the government made some efforts in a bid to try to rehabilitate the building, but it seems that progress came to a grinding halt for unknown reasons. It’s actually still possible to see signs of these attempted renovations since workers left construction materials and supplies behind without ever completing the task. The fate of this humble historical hospital is unknown, but it’s quite unlikely that the building is ever going to be restored to its former glory.
If you enjoy reading and seeing images of abandoned locations in Italy, make sure to check out my latest project where I’ve photographed 100 abandoned churches in Italy.
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