Photographer Thomas Jorion has visited and recorded abandoned buildings around the world, including these astonishing villas in Northern Italy. The crumbling frescoes, elaborate tilework, grand staircases and peeling wallpaper give a glimpse into a decadent past.

These photographs of ruin have a haunting beauty, and make you wonder why the villas were abandoned. The varying reasons include financial ruin, the threat of landslides and a nuclear base being built near one of the villas.

To see more photos of the abandoned villas, visit the photographer's site.

via Messy Nessy Chic

MORE ABANDONED HOUSES & BUILDINGS ON APARTMENT THERAPY:
100 Abandoned Houses
16 Abandoned & Decaying Hotels From Around The World
The Abandoned Homes of Governors Island

(Images: Thomas Jorion)