Somewhere in Italy near the Mediterranean sea, a piece of history was just left to rot. Located in a giant industrial area, we seek out a remarkable engineering project that is falling apart - with unseen insights and untold stories. This is a 1950s power plant that became outdated and obsolete a while ago. For the past 20 years, it has been sitting empty and untouched with the rough sea breeze accelerating its decay. Today, the plant offers a rare glimpse into the dawn of the electrical era.
We enter the plant through the boiler house. After a bit of climbing and walking, we reach the turbine hall that gets a soft, blue tint from the light coming through the windows in the ceiling.
Rusty machines, flaking paint and cobwebs together with clutter of pipes covered in dust - this powerhouse has been forgotten for decades. What happened?
There is an array of vintage turbines just rotting away in this hall. In the past century, this site was expanded bit by bit. What had started with only a few turbines for electricity generation ended with nine of these machines before the whole facility shut down. At one point, this place was one of the largest power plants in existence. But then they started demolishing it. One of the turbines is gone now, with eight more remaining totally untouched so far.
Even though asbestos is banned today, you can still find it in a vast number of buildings that were constructed decades ago - as this one. Asbestos was a cheap and readily available insulation material. In power plants, it was often used to protect the machinery. But over time, the material crumbles, releasing its dangerous fibers and placing everyone around at risk of exposure. Cutting into asbestos insulation, which happens in demolitions, for instance, would make fibers airborne as well, where they could be easily inhaled. Over time, like 20 to 50 years later, lodged fibers could develop into cancerous tumors or dangerous tissue scarring. That is why you should not go into such places without protecting yourself properly.
Somewhere on the upper floors where the turbine hall can be overlooked the control room is located. The panels are blank, and many of the gauges have been removed. It seems like the controls have been out of use longer than the rest of the plant. During the last years of operation, it was replaced by a centralized control system located somewhere else on the site. What remained was an empty shell with a ghostly appearance.
It is weird: These power plants are essential to our modern way of life. Basically, we could not live without them anymore. We are depending on these places but never waste a thought about them in our day-to-day life. We just turn on the switch and the light goes on.
Powered by gas as fuel the turbines were generating the power. And for some reason, there are a bunch of different engines here. For example, there is an array of Franco Tosi steam turbines. These are the oldest machines here. In the center of the hall, there are three Ansaldo turbo-generators. So far, all of it Italian - but we also spotted a turbine of a German brand at the far end.
The power plant reached the end of its operating life 20 years ago. Since it was outdated, it needed to be replaced with a more modern facility. The building complex then was sold but for the past two decades, it has just been rotting away and being a danger to the environment. In fact, demolition and even environmental remediation were planned but they just stopped. Apparently, it was too expensive. What remains now is a clutter of deteriorating machinery. They just closed the doors and never returned. We did our research and it seems like the archives just got lost when the place was abandoned. With this footage we hope to prevent the plant from simply vanishing one day.
If you want to see more of this place and the actual exploration make sure to watch this urbex documentary on YouTube: