Italian ghost villages are our country’s best kept secret

After the Second World War, the Italian territory begun to be sistematically abandoned. The need of a job, politics and infrastructures favouring urban settlements and natural causes produced a progressive, definitive abandon of many villages. The Italian Revenue Agency recently conducted a research called “Ghost houses”, to give a reliable image of this abandon: over a million of unregistered properties were found. A lot of them are old farmhouses in small, forgotten places, but there is also a huge number of deserted villages, often not even marked on maps. With the help of Google Earth, more than 1500 abandoned villages have been mapped, but other sources say they are more than 5000: an impressive amount, depicting the magnitude of the depopulation and consequent urbanisation that changed Italian history.

Our reportage explores the whole country, from Alps to Sicily, to tell the stories of this abandoned side of the nation.