A dying village in the Italian-speaking region of Switzerland is to be revived through the renovation of its buildings into a kind of scattered hotel. The entire town, according to the plans, will be converted into homes, apartments and lodges for visitors. We find out more.
Corippo’s failing fate
Corippo is a small village that tumbles down a hillside in rural Switzerland’s Verzasca valley. This picturesque town is suffering the sad fate of many towns of its kind in Switzerland and Italy, that are beautiful and historic, but hard to reach and lacking in opportunity. Corippo was once a vibrant agricultural pocket of land has all but died in its essence, with the young population abandoning their mountainside home in search of education and job prospects, leaving an ageing community who are living out their last days on this pretty outcrops. The town has just 12 full time residents, and 11 of them are retirement age. There are no schools and no business, save for a local eatery, or osteria.
An ambitious new life
However, despite how bleak things may look for Corippo, there may still be a chance for its survival. Corippo is a stunning town, with 70 buildings rustically constructed from the typical local Ticino granite, topped with slate roofs and separated by wooden floors congregating together on a terraced hillside. A local organisation called Fondazione Corippo 1975 has proposed that Corippo take on a new identity as “albergo diffuso,” or scattered hotel. The idea would be to convert around half of the buildings into vacation homes, apartments and villas for customers who are looking to rent holiday accommodation in an idyllic setting in the Swiss countryside. This model has already been used in a number of Italian towns to great success, and visitors would get the chance to “ to experience a very particular sojourn in a genuine rural village that remained practically the same since 1800″, says Fabio Giacomazzi, an architect and president of the foundation.
Changes are already afoot in Corippo, with the first two-bedroom property opening to guests earlier this summer. A hotel is slated for opening in 2020, and a full scale restoration of the villages town squares and restaurant into social spaces for meeting and congregating is to take place over three phases. Of course, this is dependent on funding, and it is estimated that the entire project will cost in the region of $6.5m, $2.7m of which has already been raised through loans and public funding. Aside from being able to stay in such a charming enclave, visitors will also be able to enjoy the great outdoor on mountain hikes, and sample local cuisines in the refurbished restaurant. One obstacle, however, is figuring out who will staff this scattered hotel, and ideas of having a family on site to run the business seems to be a good way forward.
More information on Hotel Corippo can be found in the TOPHOTELPROJECTS database. Let’s take a look at a few other projects currently underway in Switzerland: