The ambitious rescue mission to turn Italian ghost town into a tourist hotspot

A determined group of Italians has embarked on a mission to rescue a forgotten village from decay.

The village, San Severino di Centola, nestled in the Province of Salerno, Campania, had been left deserted since the 1970s.

The group, led by retired banker Silverio D’Angelo, is breathing new life into the medieval district of the village.

D’Angelo and his team, comprising eight other Italians living across the country, made a daring decision in 2008.

They united to buy all the neglected homes in the hamlet, which had been left to crumble over the decades.

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Driven by a deep attachment to their roots and heritage, the group took action. They approached the descendants of past property owners and negotiated purchases of the buildings. Their goal was not only to preserve the village’s original beauty but also to protect it from falling into the hands of those who might alter its essence.

Around 60 old stone dwellings were acquired by the group, with each member having a stake in the properties. The village, surrounded by untouched hills, forests, and streams, held potential for revival.

D’Angelo expressed his vision, telling CNN: “It breaks my heart to see the ghost hamlet fall to pieces and into oblivion, and that just a tiny part of it has been restyled.

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“We want to make it entirely accessible and safe for visitors.”

He added: “We did not want the old village to fall into the wrong hands, which would have destroyed its very nature.

“So even if crumbly, we decided it was better we bought it to take off the market, without necessarily doing anything with it.”

The group’s purchase price remains undisclosed, but their dedication to saving the village is evident. Their intervention has not only prevented further deterioration but also ensured the village’s unique character endures.

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