Explore #5 of the Wet, with excitement Tour.
After a wonderful morning spent exploring the Manicomio di R asylum anything else that day was going to be a bonus. Given the time of year daylight hours were at a premium, so we decided to prioritise and head to what looked like an interesting abandoned college.
This college for boys and girls was built in the 1960s by the Salesian Society – a Roman Catholic institution which was formed in the late 19th Century to help underprivileged children during the Industrial Revolution. It has now been closed for a number of years, but here are some old postcard pictures of what it looked like back in its heyday…
When we got to within a couple of miles of the college our excitement suddenly peaked…
“Wow – do you think it’s that beast up there on the hill?”
“I think so”
“It looks HUGE!”
We had only seen a couple of internal shots of the college whilst researching our Italy locations, so were not expecting the massive structure which dominated the vista ahead of us. Soon we were parked up and had worked out the best way to approach the building, but as we got closer we saw three guys stood by a desk at the entrance to the building. What was going on here? Thankfully it turned out that they were just local lads there to play Airsoft – which involves firing pellets at each other from fairly powerful guns. We spent a few minutes explaining that we were there to take photographs, and if they could try not to shoot us whilst we were doing so that would be most appreciated!
The explore was certainly an interesting one – rather than the usual concerns of watching out for rotting floors (no such problems here) and getting busted by security, we instead had to make sure we didn’t accidentally get shot by a trigger-happy Italian! It felt weird deliberately making more noise as the sound of gunfire occasionally grew closer, rather than the default exploring mode of trying to make less noise!
Happily the explore passed without any explorers getting shot, and we spent an enjoyable couple of hours exploring the abandoned classrooms and dormitories.
As always click on a photo to VIEW LARGE
With the light almost completely gone we made our way outside and said our farewells to the Italians, who by then were packing up and chatting with some more of their friends. We programmed the SatNav for that night’s lodgings in the centre of Florence – just over 4 hours away! We had figured it made sense to do as much exploring as possible during what little daylight we had, and then leave the driving until after dark. It was a logical plan, but by the time we finally rolled into downtown Florence that night we were both exhausted. It wasn’t helped by the unbelievably bad and aggressive Italian drivers that we had to endure most of the way – they were so bad that all we could do was laugh at them.
We parked on a small street by our hotel, which we assumed would be fine on a Sunday night. However the hotel suggested we move our car to in front of the hotel. Reluctantly I went back to the car, reversed it, and then heard a terrible >>>CRUNCH<<<! It turned out some local had managed to park his moped right out of sight right behind the back of our car in the 5 minutes we had left it! Gutted! We spent twenty minutes or so evaluating the damage and after giving them our rental details, we finally headed out for a couple of much-needed beers and a short stroll around the magnificent Duomo…
…before finally calling it a night.
Thanks for stopping by.