We arrived in Sardinia thinking we would be spending time on some of their beautiful beaches but the weather across Europe has not been kind this summer so we decided to head inland and explore some of the small villages.
The scenery is beautiful. Roads wind around the tall granite mountains and you never know what you will see around the next corner. From a distance, towns appear dotted over the landscape.
As we were heading for the town of Gairo Sant’Elena we passed a small driveway on the right leading to a few buildings. I did not think anything of it and we continued up the hill.
It was only as we passed some beautiful abandoned buildings did my curiosity get the better of me. Stop I yelled as my poor husband had to yet again find a parking spot on a narrow winding road.
A quick u-turn, a parking spot found and we wandered down the road to investigate.
It was only then that I noticed that further down the hill lay the remains of a town, abandoned many years ago and left to the ravishes of time.
Gairo Vecchio has been uninhabited since 1963.
With my small understanding of Italian, it seems that flooding twice destroyed the city in the 1920’s and after a final bad flood of 1952, it was decided to abandon the village and build another, Gairo Sant’Elena, two kilometres up the hill.
The village layout can easily be seen. Some of the roads were cobblestoned whilst stairs have been built to reach higher levels. Lime was used in the houses and it is this that is now providing touches of colour in the buildings.
If you are heading this way, don’t miss the driveway on the right hand side of the road as you come up the hill. It’s far easier to turn off here than find a park on the hill!
If only the walls could talk, the stories they would tell!
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