History of the Albergo Diffuso
What is an albergo diffuso?
The term “albergo diffuso” can be roughly translated to mean a “scattered hotel” or “widespread hotel”. That is, a hotel that features rooms and suites located across numerous buildings within the same village. The model was born to attract tourism to Italy’s smaller destinations, where quaint homes are located within a short walking distance of one another.
This type of hotel allows visitors to experience the most authentic side of Italy and encourages exchanges between travelers who want to learn about the area, and locals keen to share their heritage and traditions.
Although the rooms are scattered in different structures located throughout the village centre, it is run like a hotel with all the hotel services you would expect. The rooms are generally full of old character features, while being clean and comfortable. The impact on the environment is very low, because nothing new has been built. Instead, existing old building are being restored.
Each Italian region will have its own different regulations and requirements for new “diffuso” hotels. These are the requirements of a scattered hotel according to the model developed by Giancarlo Dall’Ara:
- Single management – Accommodation facility managed in an entrepreneurial form in the centre.
- Hotel services – Hotel accommodation facility managed professionally.
- Residential units located in several separate and pre-existing buildings in an inhabited historic centre.
- Common services – Presence of rooms used as common areas for guests, such as a reception, bar, or refreshment point.
- Reasonable distance of the buildings – maximum 200 metres between the housing units and the structure with the reception services.
- A living community – In other words not a complete ghost town. On the other hand you don’t want to discover that the village rock band practice next door every night either.
- An authentic environment – Integration with the social reality and local culture. A good relationship will need to be built with the locals, to make sure they are all on board and recognise the benefits to the village, of being welcoming to guests.
- Recognisability – Defined and uniform identity of the structure; homogeneity of the services offered
- Management style integrated into the territory and its culture
History of the albergo diffuso
The concept of an albergo diffuso was born in Carnia, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, in 1982. Following the earthquake of May 1976 there was a need to enhance the houses as they were being renovated, to create a future income. Others that followed were the village of Comeglians, in the Carnic mountains, and the wood and stone chalets of Sauris. The idea soon spread south with scattered hotels opening in Bosa in Sardinia and Alberobello in Puglia in 1995.
This hospitality model was developed by tourism marketing professor Giancarlo Dall’Ara. It was then formally acknowledged in Sardinia with a specific regulation in 1998. There are now alberghi diffusi popping up in villages on hill tops, by the sea and in the mountains.
Grazie a Giulia in Puglia per l’articolo qui proposto solo in parte