The ghost towns of Tuscany: discovering the magic of abandoned villages
In peaceful Tuscany, far from the frenzy of the cities, there are hidden treasures that tell stories of times gone by. Deserted streets, abandoned shops and silent houses reveal the mystery of ghost villages. On this journey through Tuscany, we will discover the magic of some of these forgotten places, each with its own unique history to appreciate and rediscover.
10 abandoned villages in Tuscany:
- Brento Sanico
- Fabbriche di Careggine
- Villa Saletta
Bergiola: a medieval village in the heart of the province of Lucca
In the Lucca area, in the municipality of Minucciano, stands Bergiola, an ancient medieval village that was abandoned following a tragic earthquake in the early twentieth century. Bergiola can still be visited and preserves precious testimonies of our culture, ready to fascinate anyone who ventures through its ancient streets.
Brento Sanico: a ghost town near Firenzuola
Brento Sanico, a small hamlet of Firenzuola, has remained silent and deserted for decades, despite its rich history and artistic heritage dating back to the 12th century. Abandoned in 1951, the village lost its strategic importance due to the construction of modern motorways and state roads in the post-war period. Its name of Germanic origin originates from the fact that due to its position it is well protected from the wind.
Bugnano: the ancient village on the hills of Bagni di Lucca
Located about 10 kilometers from Bagni di Lucca, at an altitude of 579 meters above sea level, Bugnano, one of the inhabited areas that make up the community called Monti di Villa, stands as a testimony of time gone by. This village has suffered the wear and tear of the years, with many buildings that stand partially collapsed, but its aura persists, inviting the more adventurous to explore its history.
Buriano: the future resort village of Montecatini Val di Cecina
In the heart of Montecatini Val di Cecina, the ghost village of Buriano awaits a new life as a resort. Purchased by a Swiss group, this village is preparing to awaken from a long sleep of abandonment. With future plans that include a 120-seat accommodation facility, Buriano is destined to regain its former glory.
Castiglioncello: the Apennine village between Tuscany and Emilia Romagna
Don’t confuse Castiglioncello with the seaside resort of the same name. This abandoned village is located in the Tuscan-Emilian Apennines, on the border between Tuscany and Emilia Romagna, in a region rich in history. The construction of new roads and bridges in the 18th century led to the gradual abandonment of Castiglioncello, but its charm has stood the test of time. To reach it, you must reach Moraduccio (in the province of Bologna), and then continue on foot crossing the Santerno river on a small bridge.
Fabbriche di Careggine: the village submerged in Lake Vagli
Fabbriche di Careggine is a unique village, abandoned in 1947 and submerged by the waters of Lake Vagli since 1948. However, the lake is periodically drained for maintenance, allowing the village to re-emerge with its stone houses, the cemetery, the bridge three arches, the Romanesque church of San Teodoro and the ruined bell tower. An authentic hidden treasure that nature jealously guards.
Mirteto: the ancient town on the Pisan mountains
Mirteto stands high in the Pisan mountains, not far from San Giuliano Terme and the city of the Leaning Tower. This small village, born around a medieval monastery in the 2nd century, prospered in the 19th century thanks to the cultivation of olive trees and grapes. However, in the 1950s, abandonment made itself felt, and today its splendid homes and church await to be rediscovered.
Montinternoli: an intact medieval village near Radicondoli
Located between the valleys of the Cecina and Merse rivers, the abandoned village of Montinternoli is a snapshot of the year 1100. Although most of its parts remain closed to the public, the village maintains an almost perfect state of conservation. Despite being uninhabited for over a century, Montinternoli is a journey back in time with all the original details intact.
Toiano: the abandoned pearl in the heart of the Pisan hills
Toiano, located a few kilometers from Pisa, is a village of medieval origin with a castle and drawbridge. Decidedly beautiful and evocative, this abandoned town has been included in the FAI’s list of “places of the heart to be saved”. This enchanting village, surrounded by the Pisan countryside and hills, houses a deconsecrated 11th century church and offers a scenic setting among the rolling hills and rugged sandy gullies that surround Volterra.
Villa Saletta: the ghost village of Valdera
A short distance from Toiano, Villa Saletta is another ghost village. This place offers a panoramic view of the Valdera and hosts the summer popular theater festival, animating its silent alleys with Tuscan shows. The history of Villa Saletta has its roots in the 10th century and was subsequently enriched by the powerful Riccardi family, becoming a conspicuous agricultural district of the Valdera. Today, its buildings, including the clock tower and the church with well-preserved interiors, are evidence of a splendid past. Even if it is abandoned, Villa Saletta comes back to life in the summer thanks to the popular theater festival which stages shows with Tuscan artists.