We’ve only been in Italy for a few days, but we’ve already had an unforgettable experience – exploring an abandoned village. Just an hours drive outside of Torino (or Turin to us English folk), it was incredibly easy to get to, plenty of parking for motor homes and vans (like us!) and a proper road into the village.
I found out about the place via the website Atlas Obscura, recommended to us by fellow travellers we met in Ronda. It was a good tip! It has some really interesting places to visit on it, so if you’re stuck for something to do in a particular area that’s a bit different, then check the website!
Neither of us had ever been to see an abandoned place before, so we were both really excited (and I was a little bit nervous!). I’d expected to see some other people there – others who’d found out about it online or potentially squatters, but Leri Cavour was absolutely deserted.
Atlas Obscura gives you some back-ground about the village (which you can check out here), but I can sum it up pretty quickly: it was an opulent, successful agricultural village until it changed ownership several times and fell into disrepair. It was properly abandoned in the 1960s.
As we crunched our way through broken glass, crumbling plaster and dead leaves, into the little terrace houses, barns and garages, a hushed silence took over us. It was quite bizarre but it was like the village was sleeping and we instinctively knew to be quiet. Every so often though, I had a panic if I couldn’t see Ross and called out for him! I’ve watched enough movies to know that you don’t want to be separated for too long in creepy places!
Despite the obvious damage and decay, everything still felt pretty safe. The worst bits were some of the stairs as they weren’t flat anymore, but they still felt solid. After going upstairs in one particular house, I got a fright when Ross suddenly exclaimed that there was a coffin in the next room! To be totally honest, I thought he was saying it to freak me out, but nope, there was indeed an open coffin (fortunately empty!), leaning against the wall. It was a nice looking coffin too – polished wood with engravings on it. But my goodness, it was creepy!
After that, we ventured into the main house, which was much grander and bigger than the others in the village. You could tell it had been looted and that it was a shadow of its former glory, but it was still beautiful. Definitely not your run-of-the-mill house! There were frescoes on the walls, intricate ceilings like you’d see in a National Trust house and gorgeous tiles on the floor that even the looters hadn’t been able to prise away from the house.
We next tried to go into the church but it was boarded up tight. It was a big foreboding building that looked over the village. I would have loved to have seen what it looked like inside, but I can only assume it’s unsafe as a lot of trouble has been made to block up the entrances.
After about 2 hours of exploring, we decided we’d seen everything and headed back to the van for some food. Exploring is hard work! If you want more photos of our adventure, then head to my Instagram highlights as I captured most of it on my story. Would you explore a ghost town?