Inside the asylum – an illustrated story

March 9, 2013 § 65 Comments

The colored stickers on the green door may give you a wrong impression; behind that door there was no joy or carefreeness: what you’re entering is in fact an old, abandoned psychiatric hospital in north of Italy.


Opened in 1866, it was closed in 1978, when all the mental hospitals of the country were dismantled, thanks to a low inspired by Franco Basaglia.


The asylum was very big, and “hosted” over 2.000 patients at the same time. I can only make some assumption about their conditions…


Constraint and involuntary treatments were normal at those times





Unbelievably, the hospital had also a school class, where patients were probably helped with some form of education. When I walked in, a bottle of some kind of downer was still on the desk.


Today only six criminal mental hospital are still active in Italy. About 1.000 persons are detained; most of them committed little crimes. Their conditions are documented here


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