To Top

Italian Ghost Town to Artistic Haven

An earthquake leveled this cultural Italian town hundreds of years ago, but artists have since moved in and are reviving its spirit with galleries and cafes.
Post saved!

There is a small village in Italy that has survived major devastations, has been completely revived, and has almost been completely restored throughout the course of nearly 1,000 years since its establishment in 1050. Bussana Vecchia, though small, is incredibly rich in stories and culture.

When the community was first established, it needed to be constructed in a way that would defend it from possible invaders. As a result, the homes of this neighborhood were built into jagged hills. Picture the favelas of the Rio de Janeiro; the community of Bussana was built much like those homes for its own protection.

favelaAccording to Atlas Obscura, “Homes and buildings hung in precarious clusters in the rock, often supported by a single narrow, winding road both in and out. Serving as their own fortresses, these towns boasted engineering so advanced as to have held off the advances not only of their enemies, but of time itself.”

The small village suffered a terrible destruction at one point that altered it forever, according to Italy This Way. “In 1887 the medieval village of Bussana was destroyed by an earthquake that hit the region. At the time most people in the village were in the church, which collapsed during the earthquake, and about 2,000 people died during the tragedy.”

Eventually, the town was reestablished nearby, and the destroyed area became known as Old Bussana, which translates in Italian to “Bussana Vecchia.” The ruins of the old village, transformed into something of a ghost town for many years.

Though some had tried to reestablish the village, they often failed. It was not until the 1960s that people actually became successful in rebuilding the community.

“By the 1960s, a community of rebel artists led by the Sicilian Vanni Giuffrè settled on ‘Old Bussana’ and rebuilt the ruins by hand, without electricity or running water. Their vision was that the village would become their bohemian oasis; a place for them to live simply, freely, and cheaply, without societal or artistic constraints,” according to Atlas Obscura.

Lonely Planet notes that these artists used the rubble and remains of the destruction from so long ago to rebuild Bussana; the result of this work today is “a thriving community of international artists.”

With only about 60 inhabitants, according to Blumen Riviera, Bussana has become a cultural hub yet again. The artists living there have truly revived the place, and the village now has restaurants, galleries, cafes, and more. Though the government owns the land and wishes to demolish it for safety reasons, local artists are not budging.

Italy This Way reveals that “the decades as tourism and the chance to profit from the village has increased various conflicts between the local government, the longstanding resident artists, and the locals whose ancestors owned the village, over who exactly now owns the property.”

Still, the current residents seem to be proud of their new establishment and cherish the “International Artists Village.” Though very little people remain in the community, Bussana Vecchia is certainly not a ghost town anymore. It is a thriving city of artists.

Title Image Source

Sign Up For Our Newsletter


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in Be Fun

  • Tender Pancetta Meatballs

    Ever try a meatball so tender it made you stop just to take in the flavor? For me, this happened when...

    Josh GuirguisNovember 10, 2017
  • Apps for Women by Women

    Women in the tech world are doing some pretty amazing things. From apps that can help you delay a text to...

    Catherine HorneOctober 31, 2017
  • Dating Apps by Women for Women

    There seems to be a common problem everyone has when using dating apps like Tinder; often, people are just looking for...

    Catherine HorneOctober 24, 2017
  • Fresh, Local Nature at the Taroko National Park in Taiwan

    One might not immediately think of Taiwan, a small island in the Pacific, as a site of massive, awe-inspiring forms of...

    Monica GuOctober 20, 2017
  • Affordable and Fun Halloween Costume Tips

    With Halloween around the corner, you probably – and rightfully – don’t want to spend $50 or more on today’s overpriced...

    Diba BijariOctober 19, 2017
  • Spooky and Stylish Fall Decor

    October – being the spookiest month – is also the best time to get crafty with some eye-catching fall home decor!...

    Diba BijariOctober 12, 2017
  • New Releases: Erase My Head

    In October, my hunger for horror movies elevates itself, like a vampire that smells blood or a werewolf under a full...

    Nadeer FaragallaOctober 6, 2017
  • Lemon and Garlic Shrimp Scampi

    This week at NYMM we’re eating some classic shrimp scampi. For such a classic dish, it’s surprisingly easy to make. You...

    Josh GuirguisOctober 6, 2017
  • New Scarf Techniques for Fall Fun

    As our favorite, chillier seasons approach, let’s go through some scarf knotting and styling techniques that are as easy as they...

    Diba BijariOctober 5, 2017
  • Fashion-Forward Apps of the Week

    It can be hard to manage your closet and the many different items of clothing you have lying around, especially with...

    Catherine HorneOctober 3, 2017
  • Vegetarian Tacos with Avocado Cream

    This week at NYMM we’re changing up our tacos. We’re ditching meat and rice, but keeping it meaty and starchy with...

    Josh GuirguisSeptember 29, 2017
  • Smoothies for the Fall Season

    A smoothie can be great for a morning pick-me-up, after a workout, or just in general. As fall approaches, why not...

    Diba BijariSeptember 28, 2017
  • Apps to Reward You for Exercising

    Sometimes, it can be very difficult to get yourself motivated to exercise, even if you keep telling yourself that you need...

    Catherine HorneSeptember 26, 2017
  • Fall NYFW-Inspired DIY Looks

    The fall season is upon us, and with it comes New York Fashion Week fall fashion! If you’re excited about cozy...

    Diba BijariSeptember 21, 2017
  • Are Salads Food? This Week We’re Finding Out

    “Salad isn’t food,” says a good friend of mine, and I kind of agree. It depends what you think of when...

    Josh GuirguisSeptember 15, 2017

Copyright © 2016 New York Minute Magazine