Stairway to Seventh Heaven - Abandoned Palace in Italy (June 2021)

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Well-known member
Jul 25, 2017
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Stairway to Seventh Heaven #01

by Broken Window Theory

"A paradise by the sea" is what Italians call an abandoned palace towering over their town. This one-hundred-year-old building was featured in several dozen movies, always presented in the most glamorous way possible. But today, it all lies deserted - even though this is the community's most historically-important structure. Mold and decay are eating up the place, making a prestigious past vanish, bit by bit. Our team traveled to Italy to sneak inside and discover the unknown. As we entered the palace, ruins of a golden age lay around us.

Stairway to Seventh Heaven #29

by Broken Window Theory

This place is from a time when beauty and utility merged seamlessly. The large rooms were initially destined to house a casino. But that never happened. Yet, in its one-hundred-year history, this site has always been an important venue for social gatherings, such as conferences, exhibitions, fashion shows, and other events. The Art Nouveau palace was built in the 1920s and designed by a prominent Italian architect. Then, after the Allied landings in 1944, the five-story building was used as the headquarters of the Armed Forces Command.

Stairway to Seventh Heaven #03

by Broken Window Theory

After the war, this place brightened up. Starting in the 1960s, this was partly used as a college of the state vocational school for the hotel and catering industry. It has also been the setting for over 50 films. But today, all that remains is emptiness and decay. It seems like the people of the town have forgotten their former seaside paradise.

Stairway to Seventh Heaven #04

by Broken Window Theory

At some point in the 70s, there was only a handful of boarding school pupils left here. So, the college was closed, but lessons continued at this very place up until just a few years ago. Due to gradual deterioration in the past decades, and expensive maintenance costs, further use of the building was prohibited in 2015. The restaurant, run by the students, was shut down. Their school was resettled, exhibitions canceled. No society ball has taken place since.

Stairway to Seventh Heaven #11

by Broken Window Theory

The domes on the roof are decaying. Frescoes inside are getting degraded by mold. Over the past years, juvenile intruders were wreaking havoc. They were smashing in windows and having parties in here. It will be costly to restore the palace to its former glory.

Stairway to Seventh Heaven #18

by Broken Window Theory

These redevelopment costs are difficult for smaller, municipal budgets to bear. But as it seems, this is a story with a happy ending. The state has provided money for this project. Millions of euros are to be invested to restore the town's most iconic symbol. In the coming years, it should shine again. In fact, shortly after our visit, these efforts began - and by now, they are in full swing. The palace is not abandoned anymore. The idea is that it will house the school of hotel management again, and once more become a palace of culture.

Stairway to Seventh Heaven #22

by Broken Window Theory

If you want to see more of this architecture p*rn, you should watch our urban exploration documentary about this abandoned palace:

Amazing pictures, beautiful place. Hope someone can buy it and restore and look after it.
Should nothing be done to re-use this magnificent building, will there be further explorations over the coming years - to show how (one would hope) the effects of nothing more than the passing of time have on fully restorable structures?