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My Dear Readers,
I am back after having taken a break following my photographic exhibition “SHIVA Journey Into the Heart of an Urbexer” (which took place on a weekend in mid-May in Borgo di Vettignè) and the forced pause due to the flooding in my home region of Emilia Romagna. Although my heart still breaks to see my homeland so devastated, and yet, with so much courage and desire to get up again, I am here again to accompany you on another fascinating journey. This is my therapy, my antidote, and certainly a unique way to distract myself and you from your daily thoughts and carve out a few minutes of well-deserved distraction.
By now you are getting to know me: a tough soul, a fearless gypsy. For some time now, my heart has been stolen and captured generating an impulse and energy to traverse miles, to find a new me, to travel among abandoned ruins, to look for hidden treasures, and to fortify thoughts filling me with ideas.
Traveling teaches us to resist, to know and not to depend, to discover limits and what we are capable of doing, and to find within ourselves landscapes with wonderful panoramas yet to be visited. Believe me, the ability to forgive and accept each other with every nuance and color, to be amazed in overcoming every frontier and border, gives us immense space and favors any relationship or business.
Villa Siotto Pintor
With my backpack on my shoulders and camera in hand today, I would like to tell you about a place that cannot exactly be defined as abandoned. It can easily be visited by reservation and with a small, voluntary donation.
Villa Siotto Pintor is located in Lombardy’s Bergamo province, more specifically in Gorlago, and was the summer residence of the Vimercati Sozzi counts.
The story tells that it was the home of Guiscardo Lanzi belonging to the Grumellis. It was then sold to the Vimercati Sozzi counts, of whom Cristoforo Vimercati Sozzi, chamberlain of Leopold and Maria Theresa of Austria is remembered.
During the villa’s renovation, stones dated to 1571 came to light, but according to some documents its origin can be traced back to 1300. The first Lanzi who lived in this villa (who was mayor of Milan and Genoa, captain of Brescia and Cremona ) died in 1352.
Following the marriage of Amalia Vimercati Sozzi de Capitano de Cornate with Gustavo Siotto Pintor, the property fell into the hands of the noble Siotto Pintor around the mid-1800s.
Gustavo Leonzio Siotto Pintor lived in the Siotto Pintor family, who was part of the royal carabinieri corps up to the rank of lieutenant colonel and for a certain period also had the role of mayor of Gorlago. Diodato Siotto Pintor was part of the bersaglieri corps and climbed up to the rank of division general. Giovanni Siotto Pintor, who also had a military career, was a lieutenant and retired following a bone fracture during the First World War.
The Villa in Recent Years
As far as more recent history is concerned, the last years of the villa were characterized by neglect, abandonment, and above all by theft and vandalism.
A recovery effort has been underway since 2020 renovating both the external and internal spaces.
…entering these places, I seem to go through portals and find myself in a parallel dimension where my every breath, heartbeat and movement seem to slow down…
As often happens to me when entering these places, I seem to go through portals and find myself in a parallel dimension where my every breath, heartbeat, and movement seem to slow down. In the silence, I can hear my footsteps carrying me from room to room. Practically all of the rooms are furnished with what is left; each with bright, vivid colors and different frescoes that make it an elegant setting. Among the halls, bedrooms, and “hidden” passages, whoever crosses the threshold cannot help but be fascinated. Abandonment, decadence, from the ruins something unique and authentic could be reborn, even though, in its current state, it is already beautiful enough.
Within these places, we cannot help but wonder how they could have been allowed to be let go like this. They really deserve a second chance for their historical value and their artistic heritage.
photo copyrights: Pamela Nanetti
About the Author
Pamela Nanetti was born and lives in Bologna, and has long been linked to the Biella area through friendships and personal ties. A mother, and back office employee, she started writing by chance, as a way to get to know herself. Courageously starting a journey without being certain of its ending, in which one finds his true personality, and where the heart does not allow for calculations but survives on instinct. From this, her first book, Viaggio nel cuore di un urbexer (Journey Into the Heart of an Urbexer), was born.
For about a year or so, she has been discovering the world of Urban Exploration, Urbex, wandering amongst abandoned, unsafe, and dilapidated places that are full of history and unique architectural value and beauty. In this journey through time, she is transported to another parallel dimension. Taking advantage of her passion for photography and curiosity of the unknown, with the recklessness of a child, she enters historic homes, castles, and old decaying ruins that have been taken back by nature. Their existences forgotten, invisible, hidden in the shadows, and crystallized in time.
Intrigued by this unusual hobby, even the newspaper La Stampa, decided to dedicate space within its pages to her and now, thanks to a recent collaboration with the Eco di Biella newspaper, she has the opportunity to share these personal experiences with a wider audience.
Photographing these locations returns them to their original splendor and is an intimate way to express emotions and sensations, like a love letter to the one you just can’t seem to forget. A collection of photographs and experiences that I document piece by piece.
..."I was picking through the smashed houses in my heart, and rebuilding on the ruin." (D. Roberts - Shantaram)
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