Abandoned Italian buildings

Abandoned villa Italy

La decay Vita! A travelling photographer has spent the last three years exploring abandoned buildings in Italy.

Urban explorer Baptiste Ales, 29, has travelled the length and breadth of Italy in search of crumbling palaces, decaying factories and empty mansions.

The keen photographer, of Grenoble, France, has visited more than 140 formerly opulent locations in his quest to document buildings which have been abandoned for decades.

Mr Ales said his pictures of abandoned locations in Italy help to preserve the derelict buildings forever before they succumb to the ravages of time.

He said: “I see my photography as the art of giving new life to these places which have been frozen for many years.

“These buildings are doomed to a tragic end and 95 per cent of the population do not see them – they are completely forgotten.

“I like the idea of being able to share these places with people. My photography gives meaning to things that do not have meaning anymore.”

Mr Ales has travelled all over Europe in search of abandoned places, but he said he has always been drawn to the derelict buildings of Italy.

He said: “Italy is the best destination – the architecture of the buildings is simply sublime.

“There is less furniture and other signs of life than in buildings in the rest of Europe but the paintings you find in a lot of places are incredible.”

Mr Ales, who started urban exploring when he stumbled across an abandoned sanitorium while out walking with his wife, said his favourite site in Italy was an abandoned military base.

He said: “It is a very remote place so I felt like I was on another planet, all alone.

“I love the pictures I was able to take there. They look a bit mystic, I spent three hours, from 2am to the sunrise, taking picture of this awesome place.”

Mr Ales, who estimates that he spends more than £230 on an average trip, says he frequently sleeps in the abandoned buildings to save money.

Mr Ales said: “Usually when I go on a trip to a foreign country, I travel with three people, in order to save some money.

“Sometimes we sleep in a tent or in an abandoned building, which is fun but a little bit scary.”

Mr Ales said that entering abandoned properties can come with some risks.

He said: “One day I was exploring a factory when the owner saw me and called the police.

“He did not understand what I was doing in his factory, he thought I might be stealing something. Once he understood that I had not stolen or damaged anything, he did not wish to complain.”

Mr Ales shares his pictures on his facebook page at www.facebook.com/lempreintephotographie.

More high resolution pictures are available on request. To discuss rates for using pictures and copy, contact news editor Tom Knight on 07815 004413 or tom@medavia.co.uk.

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