Previously on Broken Window Theory: During our most exciting urbex road trip so far, we came across this massive concrete structure somewhere in Italy. Together with our local guide tobi_urbex and the YouTubers Bryan and Michael from The Proper People we wanted to find out what was hidden behind these forgotten walls. Next to big dorm rooms and a fully stocked hospital ward we also discovered several old chapels. We couldn’t believe our eyes! Italy was holding so many surprises for us. So, let’s see what other stunning places we can find on our hunt for abandonments in this beautiful country! You know you’re going to have a good day when your morning begins like this. We woke up in the middle of nowhere, ready for another trip through the Italian history. Our main destination of this day is one of the most sinister places we have explored so far. It’s another one of those derelict Italian asylums again where patients were treated in the most inhumane way possible. And as it seems even children were doomed to grow up here. But before we focus more on that sad place, we’ll show you what we have discovered on the side of the road when we were traveling to the psychiatry. Only in Italy you will find abandonments like this! It’s a richly ornamented manor house with an impressive history. However, we don’t have to be worried about the guard dog anymore. Well, at least we hope so. This place is called “Villa Minetta”. The – during his days – richest man of all of Italy used to live here once. Unbelievable! But just take a look at all these fine details and the splendid architecture and you know that this was a place of pomp and pageantry. While the five-storied building is completely empty today, it used to be the center of living. Still today, the basement party room is a remnant of all those great feasts which were celebrated here. The surrounding park has an area of six hectares in total. So, there was plenty of space for excesses. Oh, and apparently somebody must have been really thirsty. Because all those bottles are completely empty! This palace features characteristics from different ages. So, it’s not clear when Villa Minetta was constructed. Especially since it was rebuilt many times. Today’s appearance dates back to the 20th century. Nowadays, this remarkable mansion is rotting away. It was raided several times, is lying in ruins and close to collapse. After the wealthy count moved to another estate, the war parties became interested in Villa Minetta. During World War Two fascist Italy was allied to the Third Reich. In the former dance hall you now only heard the boots of the so-called Schutzstaffel. SS-soldiers from Nazi Germany had lodged themselves. After the liberation by the Allies this building became the headquarters of a fascist resistance group. Also the years after that the story of this place continued to be exciting. Unfortunately, we don’t have any time left to show you more of this site since this was supposed to be only a short stop. Today the impressive history of Villa Minetta is in danger of disappearing. So, we recommend you to read more about this place. We promise you, it’s worth your time! Here we are now: At our primary target for this video. By now Manicomio di V has been abandoned for 20 years and overgrown in many places. People who were imprisoned here in the past, probably can’t understand why we want to get inside so badly. Because as we mentioned earlier in this episode, this place has a very sad history and people had to endure great suffering. But let’s start at the beginning. In 1876, this hospital complex was inaugurated. With an area of over 60.000 square meters the asylum was like a small town. It was one of the most secure and best controlled facilities in the region. It was constructed far away from the surrounding cities, so the mad could be separated from the healthy people. Today, almost 150 years later, the derelict psychiatry is bedded between offices and apartment buildings in the middle of a bigger town. The structure is falling apart bit by bit. And nature is reclaiming the place. You have seen how massive this compound is. Unfortunately, we were only able to explore a small part of it since the building complex is still partly active. Some offices are housed here at the other side of the property. That’s why power is still working in some areas. An unbelievable amount of items was left behind here. This place is like a museum! There’s even still someone lying in one of these beds. Well, or at least what’s left of him. At one end of the psychiatry we discovered this circular wing. Here the most violent patients were placed back then. In total more than 1.000 mentally ill people could be accommodated in the asylum at the same time. For that around 400 employees needed to work here. Initially, the symmetrical building complex was divided in two halves. There was one area for female and one area for male patients. During the second half of the 20th century this isolation ended, men and women weren’t separated any more. As a result even relationships started. There’s the story of Luigina und Mario who fell in love here and married in the church of the hospital. From now on they lived together – in the same cell. This was one of the very few nice episodes from the mental house. But unfortunately, the dark chapters are dominating. In the beginning of the 20th century, it didn’t need much for you to get detained here. One simple fight on the streets of one of the surrounding communities could already be enough to bring you behind the bars of this asylum. So, many patients weren’t even sick in the first place. Maybe they were just people who couldn’t follow the strict rules of the Italian society. And for that they were treated here as if they had a disease. We even found a ward where nurses were trained in the past. But what’s way more terrifying: There was a sector in which orphan children grew up. Mothers gave away their illegitimate babies and so did parents who couldn’t live with the shame of having a disabled child. But also poor families that couldn’t afford to feed another infant. However, this isn’t exactly a place where children should grow up – surrounded by so much pain and fear. But also the kids themselves were raised using dubious methods. This device was used for photostimulation. While patients were exposed to flickering light, their brain activity was measured. Although there was a risk of getting spasm and seizures. Like in all the other Italian psychiatries from that time the treatment was nearly the same as torture. Back then people thought electric shocks and lobotomy were the only way to heal mental illness. But instead of curing the patients they became limp. So, staff had the only benefit from it because it was now easier to handle the patients. Often people remained imprisoned here for their whole life. But that life was rather short. If death wasn’t a consequence of operations, people probably starved or froze to death here. Until the horror ended in 1978. The Basaglia law, which we explained in detail in our recent Italian asylum video, became active. Now downsizing had started. Patients were transferred to other facilities or even released to the community. This process took 20 years until the hospital finally closed down in 1998. Bryan and Michael from The Proper People were joining us on that adventure. They also produced a video about this place. You can find the link to their channel in the video description. Take a look if you want to see more of this eerie site. As we already mentioned, the former hospital almost resembles a museum today. It’s unbelievable what was left behind here and reminds of the past’s terror. So, we see this place more as memorial. We need places like this, so the terrible past won’t repeat ever again. So we’ve already reached the end of today’s episode again. As always I hope you guys enjoyed it. Today I’m here again because we’re looking for your ideas! In early 2018 we participated in a photo contest and we even won! After that one of our most favorite urbex stills was printed in Germany’s biggest travel magazine and we even received an expensive camera lens as a prize. In the future we would like to participate in more of those competitions. Now here is where you come in! If you’re aware of a contest in which we can participate with our photos or videos, just let us know. That might be a photographic competition, a participation in an exhibition, a grant or something completely different. Help us share our content and you will receive a present from us as thank-you if we decide to take up on your suggestion. Got it? Just send us a private message with your ideas. I’ll see you guys next time thanks again for the support! Next time on Broken Window Theory: Narrow roads are leading us up the hilly countryside of Italy. Here we discover impressive abandonments which are characterized by decades of vacancy. Our first stop is “Blue Chapel”. It’s another former boarding school with a beautiful church. After that we head to a derelict sanatorium. Nothing but natural decay made this exploration an unforgettable experience. Don’t miss this next episode, guys! Which of the two buildings in today’s episode do you like more? Tell us why! And if you enjoy our videos, please consider helping us on Patreon. Only our supporters made this Italy road trip possible in the first place. And right now we’re already planning our next big adventure. Keep exploring, fellows!