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Albergo Diffuso: when a borough becomes a Hotel

  • Travel
  • - 23 February 2015

    When you think about Italy, you probably have some clear images in your mind: dreaming sunsets, Tuscan landscapes, ancient boroughs built on rock spurs, rolling hillsides, the blueish-green crystal clear waters of the Southern Italy sea to name just a few.

    An emotional visionary world you may like to live and experience as a local and not only as a tourist. Hotels and Bed and Breakfasts, as comfortable as they may be and in gorgeous locations will never give you the chance to live as a real Italian.

    The almost new concept of Albergo Diffuso merges exclusive hospitality with the charm and emotion of local traditions, where guests can dive into the history of the borough, which, as a matter of fact, is the Hotel itself.

    Just imagine, the buildings, old homes, clock tower and all you find in a borough have been converted into comfortable rooms, with all the comforts of modern life yet with an old-timey atmosphere. Here, waking up in the morning is breathing in the fresh clean air, leaning off of your balcony and enjoying the sweet golden light of dawn with the locals greeting you a “Buongiorno” or “Good Morning” as if you were an old friend.

    Forget the old concept of exclusive Hotels and live as a local in a medieval Italian boroughs.

    Like the wonderful example of the Albergo Diffuso, we met Silvia Santolini who designed Le Case Antiche in Verucchio, an ancient borough with a defense fortress built by the Malatesta Family and one of Europe’s  most important archeological museums.

    Le Case Antiche (the ancient houses) are private homes scattered in the borough where Silvia and her husband decided to buy and restore some years ago. They wanted to keep on working in Verucchio, but work was not easy to find. When they had heard about this new concept of hospitality in Italy, they were hooked.

    Starting in the 1960s, people start to leave the old Italian boroughs and they suffered. Today, most are abandoned or partially a mess of ruins even though they are found in areas, precious and part of an Italy still unknown and unveiled.

    Three houses in the town centre and one old, typical Romagna-styled farmhouse not far from the borough, all transformed with style and elegance. With their ancient structure and their charm of living as a local, you can cook your own meals, shop for food in the small, gourmet shops in town or have a wonderful meal at one of the tasty restaurants in town.

    Here, time is totally free. There’s no rush. No pressure. Just the simple pace of your life where you can truly enjoy the Italian lifestyle.

    And when the evening comes along, you can enjoy an Aperitivo in the comfort of your own house or sit in one of the quaint cafes in the village centre and watch the beautiful colours of the setting sun.

    Verucchio is in Emilia Romagna, in the North of Italy. The nearest airport is about 100 km away in Bologna.

    The borough can be easily reached by train or by car, which is probably the most comfortable way. Take the A14 Highway, exit at Rimini Nord and then follow the indication for Verucchio. The Valmarecchia, one of the valleys around Rimini, has other hidden gems apart Verucchio, such as San Leo (Unesco Heritage) or Sant’Agata Feltria, the capital of truffles. Verucchio, with its medieval centre, has also been awarded an Orange Flag from the Italian Touring Club, an honour given to the best sustainable Italian Medieval boroughs.

    If interested in contacting Le Case Antiche, please visit their web site at:





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