Ghost Village in Italy




end up take back abandon (2)
based location ghost village
ghost sign (3) take/took/taken
search gradually forget/forgot/forgotten
far too estimate tell/told/told
region century depopulation
hiking landslide begin/began/begun
risky evacuate mysterious
full (2) remnant inhabitant
stone other side sleep/slept/slept
oven recognize over there
wish edition all choked up
way shortage fascination
rural exodus apart from
entire fascinate picturesque
beard resident appear (2)
tie (3) folklore reminisce
left (4) publish among other
depict encroach lose/lost/lost
as if image (3) see/saw/seen
valley threaten remote (2)
fear move (2) enthusiast
trail crumble inconvenient
likely increase earthquake
factor consider irretrievable
hope restore lead/led/led
at least way of life






Rovaiolo Vecchio, an abandoned village in the northern Apennine Mountains. Nature is fast encroaching on the ten houses, taking them back. Sixty years ago, there are still more than a hundred people living here.

A perfect location for Milan-based photographer, Bruno Zanzottera.

“Welcome to Ghost Village” reads the sign at the entrance of town.

Zanzottera takes pictures of a forgotten Italy. He’s been searching for such mysterious places since 2013.

Bruno Zanzottera, Photographer: “Apart from the beauty and fascination of these villages, I wanted to tell something about the depopulation of Italian regions that began at the beginning of the last century.

After the Second World War, also as a result of industrialization, many villages, especially in the mountains, were gradually abandoned.”

Rovaiolo Vecchio was threatened by a landslide, and was therefore completely evacuated in 1960.

The search for locations can be quite risky for Zanzottera because he is also interested in what is still inside the crumbling houses — remnants from the past.

.     .     .     .     .     .     .     .


Sometimes former residents, like ninety (90) year old Rena Orsi come here to look at their old houses and reminisce.

Rina Orsi, Former Rovaiolo Vecchio Resident: “This was our kitchen. And we slept right over there.”

Here is the entrance to the kitchen, and its stone oven. A typically large Italian family lived here: ten people slept in these rooms.

She hardly recognizes them today.

Rina Orsi, Former Rovaiolo Vecchio Resident: “I wish I hadn’t seen it again. I get all choked up. But that’s the way it is. Little by little, all such villages will end up like this.”

.     .     .     .     .     .     .     .


Bruno Zanzottera has photographed over thirty ghost villages for his project. There is no shortage, with an estimated one-thousand-five-hundred (1,500) more abandoned places in Italy.

In southern Italy, rural exodus has depopulated entire regions. Abandoned villages with picturesque names like Amendolea, Bancanleoni and Poggio Reale fascinate the Milanese photographer.

He recently met Joseppe Spanolo, the last inhabitant of the village Rossini, near Naples.

Bruno Zanzottera, Photographer: “This man appeared suddenly, very folkloric, with a tie, a hat a huge beard — the perfect image.”

The photos have been published in, among other publications, the Italian edition of National Geographic Magazine. They depict an Italy that is irretrievably lost.

Bruno Zanzottera, Photographer: “As if time had stopped. Shortly before, life was being lived to the fullest. And then suddenly, no one was left. It’s almost like a modern Pompeii.”

.     .     .     .     .     .     .     .


The inhabitants of Rovaiolo Vecchio were moved to a new village on the other side of the valley in 1960.

The feared landslide never happened.
Yet, no one returned to the old village.

Rina Orsi says she never even considered the idea of moving back here.

Rina Orsi, Former Resident of Rovaiolo Vecchio: “It’s too inconvenient to live here, far too remote.”

The number of Italian ghost villages are likely to increase. Earthquakes are one factor.

A popular hiking trail leads through Rovaiolo Vecchio. There is some hope that enthusiasts for this way of life will consider moving here to restore at least some houses in this ghost village.

*     *     *     *     *     *     *



Cottage. Villages in Italy, such as Rovaiolo Vecchio, has been abandoned since the fall of the Roman Empire. True or false? Have things been changing rapidly?

Farm, Farmhouse. Does Bruno Zanzottera mostly photograph fashion models in Milan? Does he feel sad about ghost villages?

Country, Countryside, Rural area. Why many villages been abandoned? Why are many villages empty?

Village. All the houses had modern, electrical appliances. Is this right or wrong?

Town. Did Rina Orsi have a small, medium-sized or large family? How does she feel when she visits her former home?

City. Is depopulation very gradual or has it occurred very quickly?

Urban Area. Rina dreams of moving back to her old home. Is this correct or incorrect?

Plaza. Does the report offer a glimmer of hope for the ghost villages?
City Center, Downtown. Do you live in a village, town or city? Do you know anyone who lives in a village?

Quarter, District. Are villages increasing in size, decreasing or remaining the same? Are they growing, shrinking or remaining the same?

Suburbs. There are many ghost villages in my country. Yes or no? Have you been to a ghost village?

Metropolitan Area. I would like to live in a small village. Would your friends like to live in a village?

Megalopolis. What might happen in the future?

Region, Province. What could or should people and governments do?

Comments are closed.