While in Italy for some recent travels visiting family, I had the awesome experience of visiting the old town of Apice. My cousins had noticed what intrigued me photographically and asked me if I wanted to check out a ghost town. Figuring it would be fun to see more of the country side, I quickly said yes. As we drove out, I was told the city have been abandoned since the late 1970s due to a couple of earthquakes. The people had relocated not too far from the original dwellings. I have done my fair share of exploring empty buildings and structures, but those couldn’t compare to what I saw. It is one thing to walk inside one empty space – it is another to walk into an entirely deserted town. Two things quickly grabbed me as I walked up the hill and laid my eyes on what was in front of me: One that you can feel the sense of history here – from the materials used to build along with the cobblestone streets, this was something to pause and take in; the other was the lack of graffiti. I had to explain to my cousin that if this was in say LA or NY, it would probably have been covered from head to toe with shitty graffiti. I was so glad that wasn’t the case here. We cruised around starting out in the town center before strolling alone of one of the streets. Another beautiful thing to see was nature taking over. Grass and plants just wrapping around items left behind, overgrowing into the homes. It more or less felt like a backdrop to a movie, but turning the next corner quickly reminds you it is not a set. I even got the chance to venture into some of the homes. A few were empty and others still had some belongings left behind.
Afterwards I didn’t view this place as another abandoned complex. To me, this was a piece of art. To think back to how these buildings were made and the fact that they are still standing after 100 plus years is remarkable. To see how nature is taking back what is hers was simply beautiful. In a day and age where this place would have been bulldozed for another generic shopping center, I was thankful to have had a chance to photograph it. While there, we did see a construction crew working on something just outside of the town, which I hope doesn’t mean plans to alter what is still standing. To me, that is the point of photography. Documenting and capturing moments. What you take for granted might not be there the next day. Better to capture it now while you can. If you ever find yourself in Italy, I suggest you making your way out to Apice if possible. It is definitely worth seeing and won’t be crowded with a ton of tourists.