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Alberghi Diffusi

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Have you ever heard about Alberghi Diffusi? A special kind of accommodation, that respects the environment and goes deep into the local authenticity of a place. The network of Alberghi Diffusi is spread all over Italy, take a look on the official web site for specific addresses. Read more about this model of accomodation in the following article.

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Albergo Diffuso: origins and streghts

The Albergo Diffuso can be defined as scattered hotel. Situated in a historical centre, its rooms and services are displaced in several nearby buildings. It is an accommodation solution with single management coordination and it especially addresses the demand of those interested in staying in areas of cultural importance, in contact with local residents but availing of traditional hotel services.

It is a particular type of hotel conceived to provide to the guests a unique experience of living a historical centre of a town or of a village. It provides all the services of traditional hotels (welcoming, assistance, common spaces, meals), although the rooms are scattered around the historical center, within a radius of approx. 200 meters from the centre and the heart of the hotel (the reception, the common spaces, the restaurant). The rooms and/or apartments are set within palaces and apartments which, being part of the historical centre, and being appropriately restored according to the local culture, immediately provide the sensation of “being local”. An Albergo Diffuso represents also a unique development approach which doesn’t carry negative environmental impacts. To create it nothing has to be newly constructed, since it is just necessary to restore and recuperate existing houses and apartments according to the local cultural and historical backgrounds, and to network what already exists.

The idea of the Albergo Diffuso was born in Carnia, in the Friuli Venezia Giulia region in the north-east of Italy, after a terrible earthquake which affected the whole region in 1982. It was immediately considered an opportunity to renovate damaged urban areas. But only at the end of the 80s Giancarlo Dall’Ara defined the model, considering the Albergo Diffuso as new kind of accommodation solution.  The brochure created in 1996 to promote this initiative in the small town of Bosa, clearly outlines the profile of the potential guest:

“Our guest is a traveller who doesn’t want to stay in an isolated hotel in the city but who wants to know and experience the places hosting him, without renouncing modern comfort and services.
In Corte Fiorita you became a citizen of Bosa”.

The use of the adjective spread out, focuses on the authenticity of this new model. It underlines the horizontal structure, unlike the vertical one of those traditional hotels which sometimes seem to be mere blocks of flats. Furthermore, the Albergo Diffuso model has been adapted to add value to town centres and small villages with artistic and architecturally important historical centres. In this way, it rejuvenates and enhances old boarded-up and disused buildings and, at the same time, can help avoid building new structures to resolve tourism accommodation issues.

The core of the Albergo Diffuso concept is the reception, the place where the guest is welcomed. Here he can easily find general information on services offered, the history of the buildings and the business idea as well as brochures on the village and the destination, possible itineraries and all the activities developed in the Albergo Diffuso (theatrical performances, themed walks and cultural visits). In addition, regular hotel activities such as checking-in, handing over keys and payment of bills usually take place at reception. In the same building, guests can also find other services such as the restaurant where they can enjoy an Italian breakfast and regular meals, a playroom for children, a reading room and a TV room.

The rooms, as well as the apartments, are located in different buildings in the village centre but, in any case, are always distinct from the reception. It is most important that both reception and restaurant are located in a central part of the centre in order to allow guests to reach the reception from any part of the structure in a few minutes and in all weather conditions.