BEHIND THE SHOT

— The stories behind locations and shooting  —

- MERINGA -

So opulent is this Italian palace that I’m not lying when I write that this room was confined to the basement, as if it were a small room.

This building has passed into the hands of many owners over the centuries until the 60s where it stopped at its current state of neglect.

It’s extremely well known between explorers and the occasional curious because it’s extremely flashy.

And this is also why dogs and pigs, people with no respect for scruples, more committed to robbing the place or vandalizing it, have been inside.

As has happened to me in many places, I have returned several times to this place, and I have been able to witness its changes over the years.

My first visit was in 2017 and it was actually a no-visit. After being thrilled to find the place I’ve been looking for for a long time, I reach the place in the company of a friend.

At the time, there were still no rumors about the neighbour, who, as it turns out, was a sort of unofficial half-guardian of the palace.

So the first time I drove past the building to see the situation. The building was at the bottom of a closed street, so you would necessarily pass in front of the house of the guardian.

That in fact, hearing us go by car, he went out to check and found us getting out of the car that we watched from the gate outside the building.

Assuming our intentions, he immediately warned us that if we were going to enter he would call the police. Determined not to have problems, we left it alone, sad for having come so far for nothing.

After a few weeks I decided to try again, but this time the situation was clearer to me. I parked very far away and made a rather wide turn from a path in the external cultivated fields. Access to the palace park was easy by passing by the side, in fact the park does not have a side fence.

In the 5-6 times I went back over the years I found openings that were broken or closed in rotation, it happened that I also found everything barricaded. But there was always someone who dared and broke.

My presence was always very quiet because the guard also had dogs that apparently were particularly careful to bark at noises.

Despite everything, my first time was exciting, as always when I find myself in an abandoned wonder, even more so when the adrenaline is in circulation for the risk of being discovered.

I chose the sunrise hoping to take advantage of the sleeping neighbor. On the back of the building there are two representative staircases that rise parallel to an austere porch, there some windows were broken and it was possible to slip inside.

Inside the emotional impact was instantaneous. Immediately you find yourself inside a large antechamber that overlooks a very high and imposing reception hall. As I often say, when exploring emotions like fear and awe are divided among all present. When you are alone emotions are all for you, I felt exclusive in an unchanting and forbidden place.

On the immense side walls were two frescoes linked to mythology, one representing the myth of Apollo and Daphne, the other that of Adam and Eve. Under the frescoes there were marble altars.

Huge windows at the top let in the warm early morning spring light, facing east.

The arched vault reached its maximum peak I think 10 meters high, and from the center hung a long chain with no more chandelier.

A long crack ran vertically through one of the two frescoes, like a scar on the beautiful face of a woman.

I recovered from the initial amazement and continued the visit to the nearby rooms. On the ground floor I also found another room richly frescoed but with all the tiles of the floor completely turned in a chaotic way as if they were a puzzle to be rebuilt. Other side rooms were huge but completely empty.

The other highlight was the internal staircase, climbing a spiral and then at half height have a parapet and from there it divide itself into two other flights of stairs that go up parallel opposites, one reaching a terrace and the other the first floor. In addition to having a railing particularly decorated in wrought iron, it had a beautiful large open shell carved under the terrace letting see, to those who climbed the stairs, all the art of the chiseler.

On the first floor there were some empty rooms, but with a ceiling with worked coffers and a corner room with a series of empty shelves, it seemed to be the library of the building.

There was also a beautiful large outdoor terrace that covered the entire first floor of the exterior facade. Unfortunately over the years this terrace has suffered vandalism and many tiles of its floor have been extracted.

The sunrise, with the sun rising from the side of the terrace, allowed me to have a beautiful grazing light that meeting with the stone columns of the parapet, created long shadows bars on the floor.

There was also a wing of the building that led to a large private chapel. More than a chapel turned out to be a real miniature church. I’ve seen a lot of private chapels in the noble palaces but this was perhaps the largest ever seen. But I needed to be careful and silent because to access it you had to go into the area in close contact with the building of the neighbor and the dogs were always lurking.

The basement was actually the actual ground floor because the main external staircase led directly to the first elevated floor.

In the basement in addition to a colonnade, which was supposed to accommodate the passage of carriages, I found the kitchens still with the old central iron hob with various stoves and inexplicably the room of this photo.

At the inlay level it was perhaps more refined than the upper rooms, the design was quite irregular, with a fireplace placed on a corner curve and the vault with a more oval shape than a circle.

White was the other element that stood out, white everywhere, the walls released around even white dust of disintegration that could be safely confused with mold.

The first impression was to be inside a particularly elaborate wedding cake, but I found that the title of the photo “Meringue” was more sympathetic, it seemed to find themselves surrounded by sugar loaf.

I’ve photographed the room from every angle, but this is my favorite.

Over the years I have been able to photograph the villa in different light conditions. The light attributes a different emotional state, it is as if the rooms had their own life and caught their mood.

But over the years I have also seen the evolution for the worse especially with regard to broken floors and glass. In the main hall I could initially see the wooden strips that served as a floor, as well as the tiles that covered the terrace. Now the internal wood has been completely stolen, even from other rooms, and the marble altars have been taken away.

I spontaneously consider: all these works of decommissioning are works that cause considerable noise even for the tools used; how is it possible that an alleged guardian has not been alerted? Maybe I’m a little too condescending with some characters and ask for his share of the resale?

Each time I leave this villa with a thought of impotence towards an ancient pearl, mortified and left to herself.

Talmente questo palazzo italiano è sfarzoso che non sto mentendo quando scrivo che questa stanza era relegata nei sotterranei, quasi fosse una stanza di poco conto.
 
Questo palazzo è passato in mano a numerosi proprietari nel corso dei secoli fino agli anni ’60 dove si è fermato al suo stato attuale di abbandono.
 
E’ estremamente conosciuto nell’ambiente degli esploratori e dei curiosi occasionali perchè è estremamente vistoso.
 
Ed è anche per questo che al suo interno sono passati cani e porci, persone prive di rispetto a scrupoli, più impegnati a derubare il posto o vandalizzarlo.
 
Come mi è successo in molti posti, sono tornato più volte in questo luogo, ed ho potuto testimoniare i suoi cambiamenti durante gli anni.
 
La mia prima visita risale al 2017 ed in realtà è stata una non visita. Dopo essermi entusiasmato nell’aver trovato il posto che cercavo da tempo, raggiungo il luogo in compagnia di un amico.
 
Ai tempi non circolavano ancora voci sul vicino di casa attiguo, che, a quanto si scoprì poi, era una specie di mezzo guardiano non ufficiale del palazzo.
 
Così la prima volta passai con l’auto davanti il palazzo per vedere la situazione. Il palazzo era in fondo ad una via chiusa, quindi si passava necessariamente di fronte la casa del guardiano.
 
Che infatti, sentendoci passare con l’auto, è uscito a controllare e ci ha trovati scesi dall’auto che osservavamo dal cancello l’esterno del palazzo.
 
Presumendo le nostre intenzioni ci intimò subito che se avevamo intenzione di entrare avrebbe chiamato i carabinieri. Decisi a non avere problemi lasciammo perdere, rattristato per aver fatto tanta strada per nulla.
 
Dopo qualche settimana decisi di riprovarci, ma questa volta mi era più chiara la situazione. Parcheggiai molto lontano e feci un giro piuttosto ampio da un sentiero nei campi coltivati esterni. L’accesso al parco del palazzo era facile passando dal lato, infatti il parco non ha una recinzione laterale.
 
Nelle 5-6 volte in cui ci sono tornato negli anni ho trovato aperture che a rotazione venivano sfondate o richiuse, è successo che trovassi anche tutto barricato. Ma c’era sempre qualcuno che osava e sfondava.
 
Le mie presenze erano sempre silenziosissime perchè il guardiano aveva anche cani che a quanto pare erano particolarmente attenti ad abbaiare ai rumori.
 
Nonostante tutto, la mia prima volta è stata emozionante, come sempre quando mi trovo dentro una meraviglia abbandonata, ancor di più quando l’adrenalina è in circolo per il rischio di essere scoperti.
 
Scelsi l’alba sperando di approfittare del vicino dormiente. Sul retro dell’edificio ci sono due scaloni di rappresentanza che salgono paralleli verso un portico austero, lì alcune finestre erano rotte ed era possibile infilarsi dentro.
 
Dentro l’impatto emotivo è stato istantaneo. Subito ci si trova dentro ad un grande anticamera che dà su un salone da ricevimento altissimo ed imponente. Come spesso dico, quando si esplora le emozioni come paura e stupore vengono divise tra tutti i presenti. Quando si è soli le emozioni sono tutte per te, mi sentivo esclusivo in un posto incantevole e proibito.
 
Sugli immensi muri laterali capeggiavano due affreschi legati alla mitologia, uno rappresentava il mito di Apollo e Dafne, l’altro quello di Adamo ed Eva. Sotto gli affreschi stavano degli altari in marmo.
 
Enormi finestroni posti in alto facevano entrare la calda luce primaverile del primo mattino essendo rivolti ad est.
 
La volta ad arco raggiungeva al suo picco massimo penso i 10 metri di altezza,e dal centro pendeva una lunga catena senza più lampadario.
 
Una lunga crepa percorreva verticalmente uno dei due affreschi, come una cicatrice sul viso bellissimo di una donna.
 
Mi ripresi dallo stupore iniziale e continuai la visita nelle stanze vicine. Al pian terreno trovai anche un’altra stanza riccamente affrescata ma con tutte le mattonelle del pavimento completamente rivoltate in modo caotico quasi fossero un puzzle da ricostruire. Altre stanze laterali erano enormi ma completamente vuote.
 
L’altro fiore all’occhiello era la scala interna, saliva a chiocciola per poi a metà altezza avere un parapetto e da lì dividersi in altre due rampe di scale che salivano parallelamente opposte, una raggiungendo un terrazzino e l’altra il primo piano. Oltre ad avere una ringhiera particolarmente decorata in ferro battuto, aveva una bellissima grande conchiglia aperta scolpita al di sotto del terrazzino lasciando vedere, a chi saliva le scale, tutta l’arte del cesellatore.
 
Al primo piano degne di nota erano alcune sale vuote ma con soffitto a cassettoni lavorati ed una stanza ad angolo con una serie di scaffali vuoti, sembrava trattarsi della biblioteca del palazzo.
 
Era presente anche una bellissima terrazza esterna molto ampia che percorreva tutto il primo piano della facciata esterna. Purtroppo negli anni questa terrazza ha subito vandalismi e molte mattonelle del suo pavimento sono state estratte.
 
L’alba, col sole sorgente dalla parte della terrazza, mi permetteva di avere una bellissima luce radente che incontrandosi con le colonnine in pietra del parapetto, creava lunghe ombre a sbarre sul pavimento.
 
C ‘era anche un ala del palazzo che conduceva ad una grande cappella privata. Più che una cappella risutava essere una vera e propria chiesa in miniatura. Ne ho viste tante di cappelle private nei palazzi nobiliari ma questa era forse la più grande mai vista. Ma bisognava essere accorti e silenziosi perchè per accedervi bisognava inoltrarsi nella zona a stretto contatto con l’edificio del vicino ed i cani erano sempre in agguato.
 
I sotterranei in realtà erano il piano terra effettivo per il semplice fatto che lo scalone esterno principale conduceva direttamente al primo piano sopraelevato.
 
Nei sotterranei oltre ad un colonnato, che ad intuito doveva accogliere il passaggio di carrozze, trovai le cucine con ancora il vecchio piano di cottura centrale in ferro con varie stufe e inspiegabilmente la stanza di questa foto.
 
A livello di intarsi era forse più raffinata delle sale superiori, la progettazione era abbastanza irregolare, con un caminetto posto su una curva ad angolo e la volta con una forma più ovale che a cerchio.
 
Il bianco era l’altro elemento che spiccava, bianco ovunque, i muri rilasciavano in giro anche polverina bianca di disgregamento che poteva essere confusa tranquillamente con muffa.
 
La prima impressione è stata quella di trovarsi all’interno di una torta nuziale particolarmente elaborata, ma ho trovato che il titolo della foto “Meringa” risultasse più simpatico, sembrava di ritrovarsi accerchiati da pan di zucchero.
 
Ho fotografato la stanza da ogni prospettiva ma questa è quella che preferisco.
 
Negli anni ho potuto fotografare la villa in diverse condizioni di luce. La luce attribuisce uno stato emotivo diverso, è come se le stanze avessero vita propria e cogliessi il loro umore.
 
Ma negli anni ho visto anche l’evolversi in peggio soprattutto per quel che riguarda i pavimenti e vetri rotti. Nel salone principale inizialmente potevo vedere i listelli di legno che fungevano da pavimento, così come le mattonelle che tappezzavano la terrazza. Ora il legno interno è stato completamente trafugato, anche da altre stanze, e gli altari in marmo sono stati portati via.
 
Mi viene spontanea una considerazione: tutti questi lavori di dismembramento sono lavori che causano notevole rumore anche per gli utensili utilizzati; come è possibile che un presunto custode non si sia allertato? Forse che sia un pò troppo condiscendente con alcuni personaggi e chieda la sua fetta d’introito della rivendita?
 
Ogni volta lascio questa villa con un pensiero d’impotenza nei confronti di un’antica perla, mortificata e lasciata a se stessa.

So opulent is this Italian palace that I’m not lying when I write that this room was confined to the basement, as if it were a small room.

This building has passed into the hands of many owners over the centuries until the 60s where it stopped at its current state of neglect.

It’s extremely well known between explorers and the occasional curious because it’s extremely flashy.

And this is also why dogs and pigs, people with no respect for scruples, more committed to robbing the place or vandalizing it, have been inside.

As has happened to me in many places, I have returned several times to this place, and I have been able to witness its changes over the years.

My first visit was in 2017 and it was actually a no-visit. After being thrilled to find the place I’ve been looking for for a long time, I reach the place in the company of a friend.

At the time, there were still no rumors about the neighbour, who, as it turns out, was a sort of unofficial half-guardian of the palace.

So the first time I drove past the building to see the situation. The building was at the bottom of a closed street, so you would necessarily pass in front of the house of the guardian.

That in fact, hearing us go by car, he went out to check and found us getting out of the car that we watched from the gate outside the building.

Assuming our intentions, he immediately warned us that if we were going to enter he would call the police. Determined not to have problems, we left it alone, sad for having come so far for nothing.

After a few weeks I decided to try again, but this time the situation was clearer to me. I parked very far away and made a rather wide turn from a path in the external cultivated fields. Access to the palace park was easy by passing by the side, in fact the park does not have a side fence.

In the 5-6 times I went back over the years I found openings that were broken or closed in rotation, it happened that I also found everything barricaded. But there was always someone who dared and broke.

My presence was always very quiet because the guard also had dogs that apparently were particularly careful to bark at noises.

Despite everything, my first time was exciting, as always when I find myself in an abandoned wonder, even more so when the adrenaline is in circulation for the risk of being discovered.

I chose the sunrise hoping to take advantage of the sleeping neighbor. On the back of the building there are two representative staircases that rise parallel to an austere porch, there some windows were broken and it was possible to slip inside.

Inside the emotional impact was instantaneous. Immediately you find yourself inside a large antechamber that overlooks a very high and imposing reception hall. As I often say, when exploring emotions like fear and awe are divided among all present. When you are alone emotions are all for you, I felt exclusive in an unchanting and forbidden place.

On the immense side walls were two frescoes linked to mythology, one representing the myth of Apollo and Daphne, the other that of Adam and Eve. Under the frescoes there were marble altars.

Huge windows at the top let in the warm early morning spring light, facing east.

The arched vault reached its maximum peak I think 10 meters high, and from the center hung a long chain with no more chandelier.

A long crack ran vertically through one of the two frescoes, like a scar on the beautiful face of a woman.

I recovered from the initial amazement and continued the visit to the nearby rooms. On the ground floor I also found another room richly frescoed but with all the tiles of the floor completely turned in a chaotic way as if they were a puzzle to be rebuilt. Other side rooms were huge but completely empty.

The other highlight was the internal staircase, climbing a spiral and then at half height have a parapet and from there it divide itself into two other flights of stairs that go up parallel opposites, one reaching a terrace and the other the first floor. In addition to having a railing particularly decorated in wrought iron, it had a beautiful large open shell carved under the terrace letting see, to those who climbed the stairs, all the art of the chiseler.

On the first floor there were some empty rooms, but with a ceiling with worked coffers and a corner room with a series of empty shelves, it seemed to be the library of the building.

There was also a beautiful large outdoor terrace that covered the entire first floor of the exterior facade. Unfortunately over the years this terrace has suffered vandalism and many tiles of its floor have been extracted.

The sunrise, with the sun rising from the side of the terrace, allowed me to have a beautiful grazing light that meeting with the stone columns of the parapet, created long shadows bars on the floor.

There was also a wing of the building that led to a large private chapel. More than a chapel turned out to be a real miniature church. I’ve seen a lot of private chapels in the noble palaces but this was perhaps the largest ever seen. But I needed to be careful and silent because to access it you had to go into the area in close contact with the building of the neighbor and the dogs were always lurking.

The basement was actually the actual ground floor because the main external staircase led directly to the first elevated floor.

In the basement in addition to a colonnade, which was supposed to accommodate the passage of carriages, I found the kitchens still with the old central iron hob with various stoves and inexplicably the room of this photo.

At the inlay level it was perhaps more refined than the upper rooms, the design was quite irregular, with a fireplace placed on a corner curve and the vault with a more oval shape than a circle.

White was the other element that stood out, white everywhere, the walls released around even white dust of disintegration that could be safely confused with mold.

The first impression was to be inside a particularly elaborate wedding cake, but I found that the title of the photo “Meringue” was more sympathetic, it seemed to find themselves surrounded by sugar loaf.

I’ve photographed the room from every angle, but this is my favorite.

Over the years I have been able to photograph the villa in different light conditions. The light attributes a different emotional state, it is as if the rooms had their own life and caught their mood.

But over the years I have also seen the evolution for the worse especially with regard to broken floors and glass. In the main hall I could initially see the wooden strips that served as a floor, as well as the tiles that covered the terrace. Now the internal wood has been completely stolen, even from other rooms, and the marble altars have been taken away.

I spontaneously consider: all these works of decommissioning are works that cause considerable noise even for the tools used; how is it possible that an alleged guardian has not been alerted? Maybe I’m a little too condescending with some characters and ask for his share of the resale?

Each time I leave this villa with a thought of impotence towards an ancient pearl, mortified and left to herself.

The central hall

2021

Dettaglio del mito di Adamo ed Eva

Detail about Adam and Eve mith

2018

Dettaglio della conchiglia sula scala

Detail about shell on the staircase

2021

The central hall

2021

The central hall

 

2018

Una stanza al pianterreno

Room at the ground floor

2017

Portico invaso dalla vegetazione

Porch invaded by vegetation

2018

La grande terrazza frontale

The big frontal terrace

2018

Stanza al pianterreno, versione 2021

Room at ground floor, 2021 version

2021

La cappella di famiglia

Family chapel

2018

Dettaglio di scala

Detail about staircase

2018