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Volterra & its Insane Asylum

The abandoned Charcot pavillion of the historic Insane Asylum of Volterra built in 1930.

Volterra and its Historic Insane Asylum: A Voyage Through History, Art and Madness

A guided tour that unites the ancient history of Volterra with more recent history, characterized by the presence of one of the most important psychiatric institutes in Italy until its closure in the late 1970s.

Together we will visit the city of Volterra, and then walk down the hill to Volterra’s “parallel city” to visit a few of the pavillions of a vast “psychiatric village” that was once one of the largest psychiatric institutes in Italy. We will see the Book of Stone, with its “pages” of graffiti etched in stone by the patient Fernando Nannetti, ak.a. NOF4. The Book of Stone is a moving masterpiece of Art Brut in which Nannetti silently screams to the world of the lost dignity of all of those imprisoned within the asylum. The tour is outdoors but a visit to the Asylum museum requires a Green Pass, or for US-citizens a copy of their CDC vaccination records.

WHEN: on request – at least 72 hrs in advance

WHERE: we meet in the parking lot of the Hospital of Volterra in the San Lazzaro neighborhood, close to the Esso station

DURATION: 4 hours

COST: €40 per person – minimum 6 persons

LANGUAGES: English and Italian

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