Photographer documents decline of Italian villas

Once the grand homes of Italian nobles in the Renaissance, the villas of northern Italy still hold hints of their grandeur. Photographer Thomas Jorion documented these lost treasures in a gallery show entitled Forgotten Palaces. (photos)

Many of the villas were constructed as safe havens from the plague from the 14th through 16th centuries. The villas, and the villages which grew up around them, known as paesi fantasma or ghost villages, are now abandoned.

A selection of photos from Jorion's collection are included with the article.