Whenever someone is admitted to a mental asylum in the movies, they”re usually pulled away kicking and screaming. Upon arrival, the asylum depicted in the film ticks all the cliche boxes: it”s cold, sterile, and pretty much hermetically sealed.
However, not all mental health facilities are like that. There is one glaring and beautiful exception to the norm, and it”s located in Italy amongst the hills of Tuscany.
Welcome to the former psychiatric hospital at Villa Sbertoli.
This breathtaking villa was originally built as a residence in the 1800s by Augustine Sbertoli, a wealthy businessman.
According to local legend, Sbertoli”s son went mad shortly after its completion.
By 1868, Sbertoli had converted the entire villa into a facility for the mentally ill.
Wealthy families across Europe soon flocked to the facility to entrust Sbertoli with the care of their troubled relatives.
Not only did Sbertoli provide top-notch care for his patients, but he was also discreet, something that the elite of Europe appreciated.
The view from the old asylum. Breathtaking, isn”t it?
When World War II broke out, the fascists appropriated the villa.
They converted it to a detention center for political prisoners.
After the war, the villa resumed its role as a mental health center.
The Villa Sbertoli continued its mental health mission until the 1970s, when Italy decided it would close all “old style” asylums.
The reforms were phased in slowly and not fully implemented until 1998, the same year Villa Sbertoli shut its doors for good.
Today, the facility is abandoned and slowly being eaten away at by the forces of time.
(via Messy Nessy Chic)
It”s so sad that this majestic building is being left to rot. I think modern-day mental health facilities could learn a thing or two from the aesthetics of this villa.