The idea of Albergo Diffuso (scattered hotels) got its start in the early 1980s in Italy. Hotel marketing consultant Giancarlo Dall’Ara got the inspiration for scattered hotels while trying to revive tourism in an earthquake-damaged corner of northeastern Italy in the 1970s. The alberghi diffusi movement has spread beyond Italy. You can find diffusi hotels in Switzerland, Slovenia and Japan.
For those who do not love staying at a hotel, an Albergo Diffuso is a balance between a hotel and a house.
Since the hotel rooms are scattered in the midst of the regular village buildings, guests are immersed in village life, rather than living in a separate space. In this way, local culture becomes part of the identity of each albergo diffuso. Another benefit is that contact with locals is virtually guaranteed with this kind of layout.
Choosing a scattered hotel
Because scattered hotels are promoted as one hotel the booking process is simplified.
Throughout the hills of Italy there are many small towns and villages, some of them nearly 1,000 years old. Unfortunately, many of these rural towns are in poor condition. Younger residents have moved on, and Italy's modern economy has left these remote outposts behind. Rural residents hang on to the traditional surroundings and slow pace of life, but investing in necessary renovations and upkeep is challenging. The concept of scattered hotels is a way to preserve not only buildings but also way of life in this villages.
Scattered hotels have to follow a set of rules that ensure authenticity and independent ownership. The "hotel" consist of different accommodations in different buildings scattered throughout the village. There are central common areas with dining and other services for guests, who can choose from accommodations in renovated village houses, converted farmhouses, school houses, villas, warehouses, barns or even jails.
The tiny village of Corippo in Switzerland boasts just 14 permanent residents. It is the first such scheme in Switzerland. In Italy, meanwhile, around 100 similar projects exist.
- alberghidiffusi.it - this organization certifies new scattered hotel