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The Albergo Diffuso, an innovative concept of hospitality, was launched in Italy in the early 1980s as a means of reviving small, historic Italian villages and town centres off the usual tourist track. Almost impossible to translate literally into English, the “widespread hotel” or “virtual hotel”is conceived as a hotel that is not in a single block, but converted out of various historic buildings in a small community. It has to conform to the following requisites:
- Run directly by an individual owner and providing normal hotel services
- Rooms distributed in existing converted buildings in historic centres
- Central reception area with cafe and food available
- Part of a genuine community so that guests can be part of local life
To date, there are 40 Italian “Alberghi Diffusi” , grouped under a National Association and 13 Italian regions have adopted legislation regulating the concept. Interest in the “Albergo Diffuso” has also been shown abroad, with Croatia and Switzerland adopting the formula in their own territory. Corsica is expected to shortly follow suit.
- Williams, Gisela. "Saving Towns by Filling Rooms in Italy", The New York Times, New York, May 23, 2010.