They‘re known as Italy‘s ghost towns.
Thousands of ancient settlements across the Italian countryside have fallen into ruin as lack of jobs, poverty and earthquakes drove away the people living there.
The towns have been left frozen in time.
But a bold idea is breathing life and money back into a lucky few of these forgotten rural communities, by turning the deserted buildings into an almost invisible "scattered hotel".
It’s called an "albergo diffuso".
The village of Santo Stefano di Sessanio dates back to medieval times.
But when Italian enterpreneur Daniele Kihlgren arrived 20 years ago, it was crumbling and almost abandoned.
People have been gone away because they was very poor, because there was no economical chance to survive in such a place.
He wanted to find a way to bring local people and tourists back to the village, while still preserving the area’s ancient culture and traditions.
He decided on a sustainable tourism model called albergo diffuso.
These may look like deserted bulidings from the outside, but inside, individual hotel rooms have been created throughout the village, restoring the design from the Middle Ages.
When I arrived here there was one hotel, now there is 21 hotels.
You would never ever see this is a hotel you know because there is no sign, no nothing, because want to preserve the identity of the village.
Guests are encouraged to take part in local life and residents make money from their traditional skills,
like teaching cooking lessons using ancient recipes, weaving and crafts, or searching for regional delicacies like black truffles in the nearby mountains.
It took five years of restoration and millions of euros of private investment to transform Santo Stefano into a tourist destination.
Many of Italy’s other deserted villages could never raise this kind of funding.
But in Santo Stefano, the albergo diffuso model is slowly helping to rebuild the community.
Young people who grew up in the area are starting their own businesses rather than leaving.
Serena’s father was a local shepherd, but she runs her own wine bar.
In the same room where people had a hard and poor life, now people have a vacation and luxury and fun.
The albergo is important for us because we didn’t have jobs before.
But now, tourists arrive from all over the world.
For us, you know, some people choose to take their families to Disneyland, and we chose to come to a real place, you know, that’s right out of history.
This kind of tourism isn’t for everyone though.
Room price can reach up to 400 euros a night and getting to the towns can be difficult.
But the idea is catching on around the country.
There are now 40 officially recognised alberghi diffusi in Italy.