The ‘Albergo Diffuso’ is a concept of hospitality that was launched in Italy as an attempt to revive small, historic villages at risk of abandonment and historic buildings at risk of crumbling.
A number of separate buildings make up an albergo diffuso, with a central unit corresponding to the reception within a 200-meter distance. They may feature rooms and apartments, with or without kitchen. There is also often a space for dining, and there may be other services and amenities as well, such as a pool.
Santo Stefano di Sessanio is a fortified medieval village built in the mountains of Abruzzo at over 1250 meters above sea level, within the Gran Sasso and Monti della Laga National Park.
The current urban configuration of the village was established in the middle of the Middle Ages when the phenomenon of fortification developed: high-altitude settlements, surrounded by a fortified wall perimeter that still remain today one of the most characteristic historical-topographical elements of the imaginary of the Italian landscape The integrity between territory and historical buildings has been residually preserved in some villages set in the Apennine mountains precisely because of their depopulation, in the more general context of impoverishment of the south, abandonment of the mountain and emigration of its people.