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'Scattered hotels' are saving historic villages in Italy and beyond


Throughout the hills of Italy are scattered many 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 can be challenging.


Residents in many of these small towns have found a way to preserve not only their buildings but also their way of life. It's called "scattered hotel," or albergo diffuso in Italian, and the concept has spread across rural Italy over the past three decades. The idea has worked so well here that it has spread to other places in Europe and as far away as Japan, which recently saw its first officially-certified albergo diffuso open its doors....

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