Albergo Diffuso: New Life in ghost villages

Italian home from home hospitality: Alberghi Diffusi

You are probably aware by now that I am passionate about connecting travellers to authentic Italyand experience a deeper flavour of its culture. Therefore I  have never been very impressed by soulless chain and touristy hotels and instead I have always craved to stay in accommodation that felt more like ‘a home from home’, where I could get a taste of local livng, live more like a local would, with all the comforts but none of the impersonal atmosphere of a hotel. And I think you can achieve this by staying at ‘alberghi diffusi’. Some of you may not know what they are and I would like to draw your attention to a blog post I wrote about this some time ago.

Once you have experienced them, you’ll understand exactly what I mean!

Looking at this photo, you can almost instantly be transported back in time and be left wondering exactly where your time machine landed you! This is the kind of Italy that most tourists will never get to experience or some don’t even know that it still exists. So how do you get to enjoy ‘local living’ in towns where time seems to have stood still?

Welcome to the wonderful concept of ‘Alberghi Diffusi’ or literally translated ‘scattered or spread out hotels’. It’s an innovative concept of hospitality, a kind of home from home that offers accommodation totally immersed in local Italian culture and daily living. Its creator, Mr Dall’Arawanted to find a sustainable way to save many historic towns and villages that had been abandoned or were in disrepair and that’s when he came up with the idea of the Albergo Diffuso.

The principle is that rooms are decorated in an authentic and local style, are scattered throughout different buildings within the town but overseen by one manager. A traditional breakfast might be served at a local cafe’ or in the kitchen of one of the local houses or even delivered to your room.


The beautiful Italian village that will pay you $72,000 to move there


New life in Lazio’s ghost villages, Italy

The “alberghi diffusi” movement, which originated in the 80s, is a way of transforming some of Italy’s depopulated “ghost” villages into guest villages. Rooms are scattered around the streets to bring in much needed funds and protect their architectural, cultural and social heritage. With stunning views of the Sabine mountains and Lake Piediluco, Albergo Diffuso Crispolti’s stylishly pared-back suites and apartments – which are dotted around the medieval centre of Labro on the Lazio-Umbria border – are helping to revitalise this tiny village.



Apricale, per servire la cena la porta nell’#albergodiffuso: l’escamotage del ristorante “Da Bacì” per sopravvivere al Covid – Una cena tête-à-tête in buona compagnia per regalarsi un momento di relax senza rinunciare al piacere della buona cucina


“E’ un bagno di sangue. Questo provvedimento non ha alcun senso, specie per attività come la nostra dove il distanziamento era regola ancor prima del coronavirus. Nuccia De Angelis, titolare dell’Albergo e del ristorante ‘diffuso’ di Montepagano, nel Teramano.


Want to flee to an idyllic Italian hilltop village? Here’s how:


Alberghi Diffusi: Hamlet Hotels


Vacanza “made Italy” con l’Albergo Diffuso



Spread Out: Italian Alberghi Diffusi

A little while ago Italy had a problem with abandoned buildings in remote locations. Whole villages, usually in the hills and mountains, were ending up as ghost towns, as inhabitants found it increasingly difficult to make ends meet in these remote spots or just moved away. But what to do with them? Well, an ingenious chap named Giancarlo Dall’Ara is credited with coming up with the perfect solution: the albergo diffuso, or ‘scattered hotel’. The concept involves revitalising and repurposing empty buildings and transforming them into a collective hotel. For a chance to live like the locals, here’s our pick of five Italian alberghi diffusi.


Albergo diffuso: an albergo diffuso means that instead of a single building with reception etc and bedrooms, accommodation for guests will be in a number of properties with guests coming to a central point for breakfast and possibly dinner. The concept of the albergo diffuso has been important in the regeneration of a number of villages


More Privacy than a B&B, More Authenticity than a Hotel

Albergo diffuso means “scattered” or “spread-out” hotel. There is typically a central reception office, while rooms or apartments are spread out across town, placing tourists next door to local residents. Breakfast might be at a local café or delivered to the door of your lodging. With more privacy than a B&B, and more independence than a typical hotel (there usually isn’t room service or a formal lobby), alberghi diffusi are accommodations that immerse visitors in the local community.

Conceived in the 1980s by tourism consultant Giancarlo Dall’Ara, the albergo diffuso provides a way to rehabilitate and re-inhabit forsaken villages and historic centers, by restoring them for tourism. Many are located in borghi, or medieval hamlets that take travelers off the beaten path into lesser-known destinations. Owners are encouraged to source local products and decorate in a way that is authentic to the location. Some are intentional about offering interactions within the community, such as cooking classes, wine tastings, and more.


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