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Italian Ghost Towns Lead to Dispersed Hotel Concepts

Italy, Offbeat — By John Curran on May 26, 2010 at 5:10 pm

It can be hard to find the bright spot in the wake of a natural disaster. Destroyed homes generally force families to move on. In Friuli, one Italian man moved in.

The mountainous area near the Alpine border with Switzerland doesn’t see a lot of travelers, less so since an earthquake leveled houses in the area. Giancarlo Dall’Ara saw the ghost towns created and thought he could use the ruins for a new vacation idea, according to the New York Times.

He decided to create an albergo diffuso, or “scattered hotel.” Rather than create a new building, rooms are made available in homes that have fell into disuse as families moved away. There is still a central area for the hotel to manage the needs of travelers but it operates more like a vacation cottage.

Travelers could take advantage of the fact that tourism is still a newfound industry in the Alpine section of Italy, or one of the dozens of similar hotel concepts in the country.

But if the idea of visiting a ghost town piques your interest, you might also take a stop in California. The state has seen its share of military build-up during World War II, and ex-mining towns.

One point of interest: Point Bonita near San Francisco. If you travel to the site from the city by the bay, you can find yourself lost among old naval installations that were created by the Greatest Generation, according to Adam Blauert, a Merced Sun Star columnist.

[Image: U.S. Library of Congress]

Tags: Alps, Ghost Towns, italy

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