Now Abandoned: In 1888, the Volterra Psychiatric Hospital was founded in Volterra, Italy. This place was a breath of fresh air at the beginning. However, over time, the hospital came to house 6,000 patients and gained a reputation for ill-treatment.
The psychiatric hospital was closed in 1978 due to the adoption of a new law on mental health care in Italy, which stated that all existing psychiatric hospitals should be closed.
The hospital buildings are located on a hill in a forest area near the center of Volterra. Even the most recently built buildings are severely damaged due to vandalism.
Inside, you can find a few abandoned items, like wheelchairs and an old telephone booth, which were left in 1978.
This place is known for the fact that people who went there once often did not go back again. There are many secrets imprisoned in the walls which span hundreds of hectares.
There are stories that political prisoners were housed in these buildings during the political regime upheavals. Unmarried mothers were also among the people sent here because of their allegedly unstable mental state. Thank you to www.suspiciousminds.com
Each building was named after a famous psychiatrist. In 1902, one branch was named Frenocomio S. Girolamo while another building was named after the main doctor Luigi Scabia.
In the following decades, under the direction of Dr. Scabia, the hospital expanded significantly, and shops, agricultural services, and the judicial section were opened. The doctor wanted to build a separate independent village.
In 1933, he established a currency that prisoners could use among themselves. The doctor passed away in 1934 and was laid to rest in the cemetery attached to the institution.
In the judicial section of the Ferry Psychiatric Hospital, patients were usually locked up at the first signs of depression or schizophrenia, although this could also happen as a result of allegations of political irregularities.
Patients were also tested on in areas such as electroshock therapy, new pills, and the induction of insulin comas.
Between 1902 and 1909, many new patients arrived at the hospital. As a result, it became necessary to build new pavilions which were named Verga, Charcot, and Ferry. Between the 1950s and 60s, the establishment became one of the largest shelters in Italy with more than 100,000 cubic meters of space.
After the closure of the hospital in 1978, one of the prisoners achieved posthumous fame as a graffiti artist. His name was Orest Fernando Nannetti. He was known as “NOF4,” being the first letters of his name and the number four as his identification number in the shelter.
He carved both his history and religious thoughts along 180 meters of the outer walls of the hospital with a buckle from his vest. The doctors who examined him wrote that Nannetti was schizophrenic and had auditory hallucinations.
Nannetti passed away in 1994. His story and the hospital itself inspired contemporary singer Simone Cristicci to write the song Ti regalerò una rosa. The text is an imaginary letter written by a man who has been in an asylum since childhood.
Andrea Baldini directed the short film Ferdinand Knapp and the director Paolo Rosa shot the film L’osservatorio nucleare del sig. Nanof, both inspired by the story of Nannetti.
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