“Take nothing but pictures…leave nothing but footprints”


Once upon a Time….” Meggie and her father share an extraordinary gift for bringing characters from books to life when they read aloud. But there is a danger: when a character is brought to life from a book, a real person disappears into its pages.”

So began a journey to Balestrino, my daughter and I were watching “Inkheart” and I found the village it was filmed in is near our house in Veravo. I set out to discover what I could and found more than I bargained for. One day I will visit Balestrino.

Slowly consumed by time
The castle watching over the deserted village

Time collapses…. this village lives outside time
A memory place
ancient paths through endless corridors taken over by nature

Balconies, doorways, peeling layers of paint as thin as parchment, an old shoe, a discarded bike

A stray cat

Their owners gone leaving only silence

Empty houses, quiet streets, an ancient clock no longer needed

After falling in love with Balestrino I was distressed to come across these images on a website. These men go into abandoned villages and remove the doors which they then make into tables and sell ….. they took three from Balestrino. Sadly they are quite proud of the fact.


These abandoned Villages like Balestrino are fragments of time,
they need to be protected not exploited.

Further Reading and Images

Ghost Town

Rosella Scalone Mia

image credits ~ one, two, three, four, five, six