The best part of this travel blogging thing is actually the one you don’t see. It’s getting in touch with like-minded people all over the world, meeting on the road and learning about respective cultures and countries. One year ago, I got an email from Alex (who, btw, is a tour guide at israelwithalex.com). While looking for some recommendations in the Cilento area, he stumbled upon my blog. He subscribed to the newsletter and when he read that I was heading to Israel, he made himself available to go on an adventure with me. An urbex adventure ☺
Slovenia has no more secrets for me. Ha. However, I knew the rural area of Bela Krajina lesser than other regions. Except for a few times when I drove across it heading to Zagreb, I hadn’t been in Novo Mesto and its surroundings since Rock Otočec 2008. And even if I still hang on truly, madly, dearly to the memories of that crazy weekend, nine years later I’m trading mud wrestling for the charm of a landscape resort –Big Berry– nestled into this unspoilt corner of Slovenia.
If you follow me on Facebook or Instagram, you’ll know I’ve recently spent some snout-in-the-air time among Ragusa’s sinuous iron gratings, which garnish balconies as gargoyles stick out their tongues at each other from opposite sides of the street.
(That’s what I call a Baroque description. Ha).
There is this thing with visiting places that are in your town: procrastination. It’s like the paradox of arriving late if you live close-by. I’ve simply begun accepting it, looking to enjoy some local explorations and keep the focus on a place that I thought I knew rather well. And so, here are four long-put-off urban explorations in Rome –and another similar post is coming soon. How soon, we’ll see. Keep reading →
I’ve kept the pictures of Racconigi mental asylum in my phone for almost one year. I’ve back-up them on every possible device and yet I was unable to delete them from the one device I always carry with me, and I became addicted to browsing through them and feeling the eerie atmosphere of that place once again. Keep reading →
Kissed by the first orange-hued rays of sunrise, Zagreb’s Brutalist skyscrapers faded away as we drove through the morning mist heading for the Petrova Gora mountain, where the leaves were blushing scarlet and gold.
There the air was chilly, and the valley’s autumn colours jumped out at every turn. Keep reading →
The journey from Stinica port to Rab island was a short one, but then we had to take one more boat to get to Goli Otok, the island that was the site of the only gulag in Europe, a top-secret political prison in use from 1949 to 1989 and where Tito sent all those who sided with URSS after the break-up between himself and Stalin. In nearly forty years, thousands of Croatian were killed on the false assumption of ‘Stalinism’.
Due to the bad weather, my urban explorations around Liguria weren’t a huge success, although I did manage to sneak into a few cool sites: an abandoned NATO base, a former film-factory and a bunker from WW2.
The former mental asylum is just one of the abandoned highlights that you can explore in the province of Vercelli and, as it is pretty complicated to get in, it’s wise to go there with a plan B (and C, and D). Here is what I visited during my two trips to Vercelli, until I finally managed to enjoy a tour of the abandoned asylum: a stunning example of industrial archaeology, a ghost town with some frescoed villas and the former pulmonology hospital, now well-known for being the setting of several ghost-stories.
After exploring the most underrated islands in the Venetian lagoon, I still had a couple of days left in Veneto and that’s when the most adventurous part of the trip began. I finally had the chance to go to Poveglia, the haunted island of the lagoon, and in the following days I also visited an abandoned industrial site, a derelict amusement park, a neglected villa and a former seminary. Enjoy the report and let me know what other abandoned places in Veneto are worth a visit: I might go back soon!