The ancient village of Bussana Vecchia

The artist’s village near Sanremo

In Italy you can find many ancient villages that are experiencing a recent comeback. An example of this can be found in the village of Bussana Vecchia in Liguria. This village near Sanremo, once abandoned, lives today thanks to the intervention of a group of artists. Italian Traditions will lead you on the discovery of this magnificent village, one of the most beautiful in Italy and tell you it’s story. We will also present the places that are an absolute must to visit when you go to Bussana Vecchia. Finally we will explain how to reach this town.


Its history

In 1887 a violent earthquake struck the town of Bussana Vecchia in Liguria causing a lot of damage. The town was slowly abandoned and for over sixty years it remained a ghost town. During the sixties the ceramist from Turin Clizia decided to move her workshop to this abandoned village. This then led to the creation of a colony of artists fascinated by this timeless place. These have recovered and renovated all the habitable housing while respecting the characteristics of the place. Village life is regulated by a constitution.

What to visit in Bussana Vecchia


Bussana Vecchia, although very different from the past, still retains its old charm. It can be defined an open-air art workshop. Streets and alleys run through the stone buildings where you can admire shops and ateliers.

One of the most interesting and fascinating things about Bussana Vecchia is the Garden among the ruins. It is a place surrounded by greenery where you can admire many different species of flowers. Moreover, from the terraces it is possible to enjoy a magnificent view of the village. Finally there is also a space used as a museum where you can retrace the history of Bussana. Another particularly evocative place is the ruined church of Sant’Egidio. This is located in the center of the town. It’s bell tower which survived the earthquake is the symbol of the village’s rebirth.

Another thing for which Bussana Vecchia is known throughout Italy is the presence here of the largest model railway layout in Italy. This consists of over 350 meters of tracks and 10 trains. The route of the ancient mule track is also very interesting. This connects the village of medieval origin with the sea. The landscape is characterized by lush vegetation. Here we find:

  • grapevines
  • trees
  • figs
  • scotch brooms
  • succulent plants.

How to reach it

The artist’s village of Bussana Vecchia is located near the famous Ligurian town of Sanremo. You can reach it by car. Thanks to the A12 Genova-Ventimiglia motorway it is easily reachable from the main Italian cities. It is also possible to reach the town by train getting off at the Sanremo station. The nearest airport is Genoa’s Cristoforo Colombo.

Italy is rich in ancient villages to be rediscovered. These allow you to experience unique atmospheres and to see beautiful landscapes. If you want to know more about other places to visit in Italy, we recommend you read this article too. Now that you know the ancient village of Bussana Vecchia you just have to organize your visit.

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