Bussana Vecchia is a 100-year-old ghost town in Liguria a few kilometres from the Italian-French border. It is administratively a hamlet of the city of Sanremo.
It has suffered a serious earthquake in 1887 which has left the village abandoned for decades.
In the early 1960s a group of artists, the Community of International Artists decided to move to Bussana Vecchia.
The spirit of the organization was somewhat idealistic: to be able to live simply and to work artistically within the village.
In the village there was no electricity, tap water or sanitation but the new community of inhabitants grew from the small original nucleus to around twenty to thirty people by 1968, mostly hippie artists coming from all over Europe (Italian, Austrian, English, French, Danish, German and Swedish).
Tensions with the old inhabitants and with the police grew until on July 25, 1968 an eviction was ordered and the police sent to the village to enforce it. When the police forces arrived, they were faced with the villagers behind their barricades refusing to leave and by a large group of international news reporters.
The police decided to avoid confrontation.
The latest eviction order was issued in 1997 when all buildings were declared property of the Italian Government) the community is still living there, selling its artwork to tourists, and organizing artistic events.

Close