Lonely Planet Writer

Photographer shares fantastical photos of abandoned buildings from across Italy

A photographer has shared a series of images that show the captivating beauty of abandoned and derelict buildings across Italy.

The project saw the photographer travelling to several different regions across Italy.
The project saw the photographer travelling to several different regions across Italy. Image by Ell Costi
Some of the buildings in the series have been destroyed due to seismic activity.
Some of the buildings in the series have been destroyed due to seismic activity. Image by Ell Costi
A once decadent dust covered space with cherubs on the wall seen in Northern Italy.
A once decadent dust covered space with cherubs on the wall seen in Northern Italy. Image by Ell Costi
The abandoned Sammezzano Castle in the Tuscan hills.
The abandoned Sammezzano Castle in the Tuscan hills. Image by Ell Costi
abandoned italy photography
The crumbling remains of medical equipment create a haunting portrait of the past in some cases. Image by Ell Costi

The series is called ‘Abandoned H.Ell’ and comes from Italian photographer Ell Costi who travelled through several Italian regions capturing hospitals, houses, asylums and hotels that have been left lying abandoned for a number of different reasons. Some of the houses featured collapsed after earthquakes, with owners being forced to abandon the buildings. Often, the excessive costs mean that the Italian state has not stepped in to help renovate the spaces, leaving them to become time capsules of their former lives.

A photo capturing fresco covered walls and dusty bright furniture.
A photo capturing fresco covered walls and dusty bright furniture. Image by Ell Costi
A beautiful curving stairwell in an abandoned building in Italy.
A beautiful curving stairwell in an abandoned building in Italy. Image by Ell Costi
The photographer said that she wanted to breathe new life into the buildings by capturing their beauty and sharing her work.
The photographer said that she wanted to breathe new life into the buildings by capturing their beauty and sharing her work. Image by Ell Costi
A bare bed frame and an old oversize trunk can be seen in this derelict room.
A bare bed frame and an old oversize trunk can be seen in this derelict room. Image by Ell Costi
A set of tables of chairs seen in an abandoned building in Italy.
A set of tables of chairs seen in an abandoned building in Italy. Image by Ell Costi

“I travelled all through Italy seeking places filled with stories and lived life, left forgotten to the power of dust. From houses still furnished with richly painted large rooms to ex-psychiatric  hospitals, from churches to border schools and monasteries,” Ell told Lonely Planet News. A range of objects from previous owners can be seen in the photographs, including photo albums, pianos, books, medicines and closets full of clothes.

Often, the repair costs for damaged buildings proved too much for owners who moved on.
Often, the repair costs for damaged buildings proved too much for owners who moved on. Image by Ell Costi
Daylight shining through the windows of an ornate room with a high ceiling.
Daylight shining through the windows of an ornate room with a high ceiling. Image by Ell Costi
Objects like plates and bowls can be seen in an abandoned kitchen in Italy.
Objects like plates and bowls can be seen in an abandoned kitchen in Italy. Image by Ell Costi
A room featuring a tattered couch and empty bookshelf.
A room featuring a tattered couch and empty bookshelf. Image by Ell Costi
Scattered chairs in a run down function room.
Scattered chairs in a run down function room. Image by Ell Costi
The photographer's next project sees her capturing the journey across three continents.
The photographer’s next project sees her capturing the journey across three continents.

Ell’s next project sees her documenting a trip on the Trans-Mongolian from Moscow to Beijing through three continents. More of her work is available on her website.