Scattered throughout Italy you’ll find some unusual hotels with a concept unlike any other. Once ghost towns, old villages have been given new life through restoration projects designed to bring hospitality to their regions. The restorations were completed with the intent to preserve as many of the buildings’ original features as possible; even the beds they’ve chosen reflect those that were used hundreds of years ago.
Albergo Diffuso translates to “widespread hotels,” and this is essentially what they are. Once abandoned buildings now act as individual “rooms” for guests to stay in. The creation of these hotels has created a tourism industry that has allowed Italians to return to these once desolate towns and thrive through their own small businesses. If you’re searching for a truly unique travel experience, look no further.
One such accommodation is Sextiano. Located in The Civita Caves this is actually a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Ancient caves in southern Italy were once used as homes and churches, but over time people migrated away from the city eventually leaving it completely.
Today, 18 caves have been restored to their former glory with very minimal modern advancements. The windows are small, as long ago buildings were not heated and large windows would let in cold air. Beds are hard but also oddly high off the ground. During the bronze age, animals would sleep underneath them to help provide their owners’ warmth. History lessons are found in every amenity.
A stay in this hotel is more than a trip to Italy—it’s a trip back in time.