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  • Henrik Haupt

Manicomio di R: Abandoned mental asylum in Italy

Updated: May 10


Operating room on abandoned Manicomio di R

Some of the abandoned places I visit hold really much history and not always of the good kind.

This former mental hospital has a dark and unpleasant history. I looked forward to seeing it with my own eyes, but at first, I had to find a way in. It turned out to be a bit difficult.

Inventory and decay at the abandoned mental asylum
Beautiful decay at abandoned mental asylum
Beautiful details on abandoned mental hospital

My visit to the abandoned mental asylum

The mental asylum and the surrounding area were behind a high wall that I could not immediately get past.

Besides, the city inhabitants keep a watchful eye, with strangers coming by, and there was no doubt that they also kept an eye on me.

I, therefore, decided to park the car a reasonable distance from the place and walk the slightly long road behind the hospital.

I guessed it was my only option to find a way into the area .... And quite rightly, I found an open door at the back of the area and in a corner where the locals could not see me.


Unfortunately, it has turned out to be good because the locals are looking for the place because, regrettably, there have been visits from people who have painted graffiti in some of the rooms.


Inside the area, I could see that most of the buildings were used to keep animals and cultivate the land.

So it was just finding the main building that I knew was going to be abandoned.


Inside, I could see that the building was in terrible condition. This meant that there were stiffeners and supports in many places on the ground floor so that the building did not have to collapse.

But I could also see that it was a place in an absolute class of its own, with beautiful decay and furniture that could tell a little about the history.

Beautiful windows on abandoned mental hospital
Dentist chair in abandoned mental asylum

A dark past

Manicomio di R formerly housed both a hospital for the poor and later a military hospital. The military hospital was busy during World War II, and there were admitted over 1800 patients. Under normal circumstances, there was room for 1400 patients.

The psychiatric hospital opened in the 1870s, and it was the start of many unpleasant admissions.

One of the directors of the early hospitals believed that the patients' mental challenges were because the skull and the brain were not adapted to each other.

Therefore, surgical experiments were performed on some of the patients, trying to give more space in the skull. In addition to surgery, other experiments were performed, and treatment with electroshock, and patients with acute psychiatric problems, were kept confined to cells. So an uncomfortable place and time to be hospitalized in.

The chief physician's bed at Manicomio di R
File cabinets in abandoned mental hospital

The mental asylum closed shortly after Italy passed Law 180 that is also called the Basaglia Law, which completely changed the view of psychiatric patients.

Instead of protecting society by interning patients, care should be taken and help given in new ways.

This grim past was not just a part of this hospital, but for a large part of psychiatric hospitals in Italy, which fortunately all closed quite shortly after the law was passed.

Today, there are some pieces of these hospitals with a wild history and decay, but this is definitely the most interesting of them to photograph.

Beautiful colors and decay in abandoned mental hospital
Beautiful light and decay in abandoned hospital

I love travelling in Italy and have visited many beautiful abandoned places here.

However, one of the places that I drove past on this trip was locked off and impossible to get into.

A few years later, I was trying my luck again, and this time the door was unlocked. See the pictures of one of the most incredible places I have visited Abandoned Knitting factory