Scattered across the scenic Verzasca Valley, the Swiss village of Corippo is slowly becoming a ghost town. It was dwelling of 300 people during the 19th Century, but now population has dropped to just 12 inhabitants with a reported average age of 75.

These dismal records have incited fears that the village is lumbering towards extinction, as concerns shared by rural communities across Europe. Young people have been leaving the village due to lack of opportunities and a preference for city life.

However, an innovative solution to Corippo’s revival has been proposed; turn the village into a hotel. In fact the idea is not a new one. It was successfully implemented in Italy, where the “albergo diffuso” (scattered hotel) model has been used to revive ailing settlements.


The Fondazione Corippo 1975, A local organisation, has decided to bring the idea to the Verzasca Valley and the first cottage – the two-bedroom Casa Arcotti – opened over the summer.

Some 30 of the village’s 70 buildings are scheduled for conversion into holiday units as part of a regeneration plan that will see the village’s last remaining restaurant turned into the hotel dining room and reception.

Fabio Giacomazzi, an architect and president of the foundation said that the hotel would give tourists the chance to experience a very particular sojourn in a genuine rural village that remained practically the same since 1800.

“We hope that the hotel will offer the opportunity for a young family to undertake the management and to settle in Corippo together with some employees, said Giacomazzi. “The property could also help increase the population of the village,” he added.

However, the local are not that happy about the proposal. They said that rather than trying to attract tourists more effort should be made to fix the poor water supply and other problems. There are also concerns that the village’s creaking infrastructure, which was built for horse and cart, will not cope with an influx of travellers.

The project is yet to be fully funded. However, it has won the Swiss Hotel Association’s 2017 Innovation Award. If finance is arranged in time, the works will be completed in 2020.

The tiny Swiss village that wants to become a hotel | CNN

Nestled within the breathtaking landscapes of the Verzasca Valley in Switzerland lies the quaint village of Corippo. Once a bustling hub with a population of 300 during the 19th century, Corippo is now on the verge of becoming a ghost town, with only 12 residents, averaging 75 years of age, remaining. This decline mirrors a broader trend across rural Europe, where young people are increasingly drawn to urban opportunities, leaving behind aging populations and struggling communities.

However, amidst this challenge, a beacon of hope emerges for Corippo. An innovative solution has been proposed to revive this historic village: transforming it into a scattered hotel. Inspired by the successful “albergo diffuso” model in Italy, the Fondazione Corippo 1975, a local organization, has embarked on a mission to breathe new life into the village.

The concept is simple yet ingenious. Instead of constructing a traditional hotel, the existing buildings in Corippo will be repurposed into holiday units, offering tourists a unique opportunity to immerse themselves in the authentic rural  lifestyle of the  Swiss Alps. The first step in this revitalization journey was the opening of Casa Arcotti, a charming two-bedroom cottage that welcomed guests over the summer.

The plan extends beyond just accommodation. Approximately 30 of the village’s 70 buildings are slated for conversion, with the village’s last remaining restaurant set to become the hotel’s dining room and reception. This holistic approach ensures that every aspect of Corippo contributes to the immersive experience for visitors.

Fabio Giacomazzi, an architect and president of the Fondazione Corippo 1975, envisions the hotel as more than just a place to stay; it’s an opportunity to step back in time and experience a way of life that has remained virtually unchanged since the 1800s. The authenticity and charm of Corippo’s rural ambiance are what set it apart, offering tourists a genuine escape from the hustle and bustle of modern life.

The scattered hotel concept not only promises to revitalize Corippo but also serves as a beacon of hope for other struggling rural communities across Europe. By leveraging their historical and cultural heritage, these villages can transform into sustainable tourism destinations, preserving their legacy while generating income and opportunities for residents.

As the scattered hotel project takes shape, Corippo stands poised to reclaim its status as a vibrant community, welcoming visitors from around the world to experience its rich history and unparalleled beauty. It’s a testament to the power of innovation and collaboration in preserving the past while shaping the future.

Turning Corippo into a scattered hotel seems like a creative solution to breathe new life into the village while preserving its historical charm. The “albergo diffuso” model has shown success in Italy, and it’s exciting to see it being adapted in Switzerland.

It’s heartening that local organizations like the Fondazione Corippo 1975 are spearheading this initiative. Converting the village’s buildings into holiday units not only provides accommodation for tourists but also generates income for the community and preserves the architectural heritage of the area.

Offering tourists the opportunity to immerse themselves in the rural  lifestyle of Corippo could attract visitors looking for authentic and unique experiences. It’s a win-win situation, as it could potentially help reverse the trend of depopulation in rural areas while boosting tourism in the region.

Overall, it’s a promising project that could serve as a model for other struggling villages across Europe. It’s wonderful to see efforts being made to revitalize these communities and celebrate their cultural heritage.

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