A new frontier of hospitality! Far from overcrowded routes, mass tourism and large, standardised chains. The scattered hotel or "Albergo Diffuso" is an innovative accommodation model created in Italy. It recovers and rediscovers small historical centres, mountain communities and forgotten villages. Let's discover together what it consists of and why it is an excellent choice.
What is a scattered hotel?
The Albergo Diffuso, also known as the Horizontal Hotel, is "a hotel enterprise located in a village, made up of several houses, pre-existing and close to each other, with unitary management and able to provide hotel services to all guests".
In its intent, there is a rather original idea of hospitality. It is different from the best-known ones, such as hotels or resorts, and created to develop tourism in historical centres, without distorting them, building anything, and organising what already exists.
How is scattered hotel born?
The Albergo Diffuso or scattered hotel is a tourism formula wholly made in Italy. The concept was born in Carnia, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, following the 6th of May 1976 earthquake. They needed to enhance the value of the houses as they were renovated with post-earthquake funds and use for tourism purposes.
The idea and the model of "Albergo Diffuso" hospitality developed thanks to the genius of tourism marketing Giancarlo Dall'Ara (current President of the Associazione Nazionale Alberghi Diffusi - National Association Scattered Hotels), thanks to whom, in 1998, the formula obtained formal recognition for the first time in Sardinia with specific legislation.
One of the objectives that pushed Dall'Ara to make the "Albergo Diffuso" a reality was to bring back Italian hospitality's ancient and authentic concept. Not to see it only as a possible alternative or declination of already existing hospitality models, but to recognise in it the very sense of the history of Italian hospitality.
How does a scattered hotel work?
The Albergo Diffuso is a no-built hotel. It is born from creating a network of pre-existing houses, close to each other, located in the historic centre or the countryside.
One of the houses becomes the reception where guests arrive to register and get their room keys. Other services can be found here, such as a refreshment point, standard rooms and spaces, assistance and information.
The other houses become the hotel rooms. As in any other hotel accommodation, guests can enjoy daily room cleaning, room service, breakfast and a refreshment area.
A unique feature of the Albergo Diffuso is that the houses that make up the hotel must be in the middle of houses inhabited by the village inhabitants. So, the guest can feel more like a community member than a tourist, even if only temporarily.
Finally, the Albergo Diffuso is a model for developing tourism in the area. Its management is not typical of hotel chains but is rooted in the local culture. Just as it does with the houses, it brings together different local proposals through a network model. It offers services, partly by creating them and partly by organising and making more efficient the existing ones.
Who runs the scattered hotel?
In a part home, in a part hotel. The Albergo Diffuso is not just an uninhabited "cluster of houses" in a village, but a fully-fledged accommodation facility with a unique management style: professional, yet friendly and familiar.
During your stay, you will be accompanied by what is known as narrators of places, people and cooperatives who have fully embraced the philosophy of the Albergo Diffuso. They will take care not only to welcome you and give you support during your stay, but their mission will also be to guide you and introduce you to the local history and traditions. They will treat you as a member of their community: they will tell you where to buy the best local products, where to taste them and where to prepare them.
The Albergo Diffuso is an all-Italian adventure that re-proposes the culture of hospitality "made in Italy", a "horizontal" lifestyle based entirely on the critical concepts of relationships and community, typical of Italian village life.
Therefore, it is essential that the manager, Narratore del Luogo, fully embraces this philosophy to manage and set up a successful Albergo Diffuso!
Who chooses scattered hotels?
The Albergo Diffuso is for those who do not like hotel stays or want to try something new. People who choose a stay in an Albergo Diffuso love to travel and are looking for innovative formulas that reflect the place's characteristics as much as possible.
They are interested in staying in a valuable urban context, living in contact with the residents rather than with other tourists. They like the idea of being fully immersed in the city context, being an integral part of it, and they fully embrace the concept of sustainable living.
Why stay in a scattered hotel?
Generally, the buildings that make up the Albergo Diffuso are valuable old buildings that have been renovated and furnished with every comfort. Nothing new building, and therefore, the impact on the environment is shallow.
It is a sign of new and sustainable tourism. Small towns combine the preservation and enhancement of existing facilities with the tourist exploitation of the same places, particularly historical centres.
Villages at risk of abandonment are given a new lease of life and could be of great historical and environmental interest, unknown to most people. They renew buildings with full respect for nature and historical identity.
But there are still many reasons why we should opt for this solution. You want to have a substantial impact on social relations! A reality made up of a few people gives the possibility of creating more genuine relationships than in areas of mass tourism.
Those who experience such a holiday return home more relaxed and with a more incredible wealth of experience. The guests get to talk, understand and look at the world from a new angle.
Suggested for you from Visit Italy: Terra Muronis - Albergo Diffuso
The village of Castel Marrone has characteristic natural springs. The Fusaro, Formale and Fico springs flow in fascinating locations from a landscape, historical and naturalistic point of view.
In addition, the village is not lacking in attractions of historical and monumental interest. These include the feudal castle, built by Normans in the Middle Ages, and the ducal palace, built as the residence of the rich and powerful feudal lords of Marrone in the 14th century.
If you love hiking, you can choose from the CAI (Club Alpino Italiano - Italian Alpine Club) trails in the area, such as the Colli Tifatini and Le Commole.
Suppose we have convinced you to choose the Albergo Diffuso and given you an idea of the hidden attractions of Castel Marrone. In that case, you should plan your stay at the Albergo Diffuso Terra Muronis!
A rustic and refined period residence where you can enjoy the tranquillity, immerse yourself in nature, savour good local food and discover the ancient traditions of the place.
The hotel has five rooms, each with a double bed and furnishings that evoke the discreet charm of times gone by, without sacrificing modern comforts (air conditioning, TV, mini-fridge and safe). On request, it is also possible to add a cot or a pet bed. You will provide everything you need to make your stay as pleasant as possible.
The hotel has a shuttle bus and car park. Breakfast is served with local products and is available in your room or at a nearby bar.
They do everything with full respect for the environment and the authenticity that village life can offer you!Book your stay ❯