Travel that protect Places
Beyond simply how people are, Italy impresses us with how people care – about their culture and heritage. The Slow Food and agriturismo (“farm stay”) movements are expressions of this caring. Lesser known is the albergo diffuso (“dispersed hotel”), the idea of offering accommodations that embrace what already exists—designing the future into the past.
The term albergo diffuso is credited to Giancarlo Dall’Ara. In the 1980s, he sought to rescue semi-deserted towns in Friuli and Abruzzo. How? Construct a hotel not by demolishing old buildings in order to erect something new, but rather by renovating the existent buildings and placing hotel services within them. From this beautiful idea, the first albergo diffuso was born.
It’s “dispersed” because you may find reception in one building, dining in another, and bedrooms “scattered” in others, all within easy walking distance, all woven into the fabric of the local community. At La Residenza Sveva in Termoli, Molise, our bedroom was over a local woman’s kitchen, while reception and breakfast were around the corner, flanking the main piazza and its cathedral.