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The magnificent Ducal Palace of Colorno that Napoleon renovated for me, actually has a very gruesome history lasted almost a century…



In 1873, after a plague of cholera that broke out in Parma, the Province decided to transfer temporarily the Psychiatric Hospital in a part of the Ducal Palace and of the ex-monastery of Saint Domenico in Colorno.


Actually, the asylum welcomed not only psychotic patients, but also abandoned people, marginalized and “dangerous” for the society: this is the reason why these abandoned places shows desolation, signs of negligence and marks of temporal passages. It gives sense of mystery and strong emotions.


The inhabitants of Colorno talks about strong noises, thuds, sounds of waters and slamming doors during silent nights; there is also somebody saying that the ironmonger is making a business by selling new padlocks to the custodian of the abandoned asylum, because the doors mysteriously open during the most agitated nights.


Many people, moreover, are sure to have seen people walking in the lovely French garden I created behind the Palace: they were badly dressed, with clothes, gown in tatters and barefoot… There are those one who swear to have seen, in a rainy night, a young doctor coming out from a side-door. He was crying for the desolation of the place and he jumped in the pond of the Park.


You may visit the ex-Psychiatric Hospital but you would better do not go there alone…

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Home > Stories > Abandoned places > The mysteries of the asylum of Colorno