Haunting pictures of an abandoned hospital in the Italian countryside

Once upon a time, there was a hospital in the middle of the Italian countryside.

But after the hospital was shut down in 2007, it gradually became a wreck.

Paolo Del Rocino, an amateur photographer who has an interest in abandoned places, visited the hospital in 2014. The pictures he took are haunting.

Paolo has shared his pictures here, and you can check out more of his work on his Flickr page.

The hospital was built in the 1930s for patients with tuberculosis and other lung diseases. When Paolo visited the hospital, he found this wheelchair in the middle of one room.

The hospital is located in Abruzzo, a rural region about 100 kilometers east of Rome, Italy. Paolo is from Rome and often travels across the country to visit abandoned places.

At the centre of the hospital is a high, circular staircase. Paolo told us that he rarely reveals where he shoots his pictures, because he is afraid that other photographers will visit the locations too and possibly risk injuring themselves.

Medical records and files were left behind when the hospital was abandoned. This picture looks at the bottom of the staircase.

Apart from Paolo, many vandals have also visited the hospital since it was abandoned, as you can see from this operation room.

The risk of getting injured is serious. The place is covered with broken glasses, rusty nails, and rubble.

Paolo started taking pictures in 2008, after a random visit to some abandoned gasometers in Rome. He took an interest in the topic, and decided to specialise in abandoned places.

The technique he uses is called High Dynamic Range (HDR). It consists of taking three to five shots with different exposures and settings and combining them together. Paolo shoots with a Canon EOS 7D.

The photographer needs to take several pictures with the same shot, but in different settings. This expands the range of colours in the picture.

HDR gets rid of areas in the picture that are either too dark or too light. It emphasises contrasts and adds drama to the image.

Paolo says that what he likes about shooting abandoned places is the opportunity of falling back into a different time, when these places were at their splendour.

'Photographing abandoned places also allows me to fix them in time, otherwise these places will soon disappear, one way or another,' he told us.

'Abandoned photography,' as he calls it, is only an hobby as of now, but Paolo hopes to develop it into something more professional. He hopes that other visual artists will be interested into the places he visits.

His dream would be to found a startup in Rome that brings tourists to the best, hidden places to take pictures.

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