Paesi fantasma – Lost villages Tucked away in the rugged mountainous countryside of central Sicily, we found numerous ghost towns with modern buildings, a clear sign of central planning.
They appeared to have been built from 1922 und 1943 during the the fascist era. 25 villages were build as part of the agricultural reforms instituted by the government to stem the tide of people emigrating from Sicily.
The fascists also wanted to displace and transform thousands of rural laborers from the North – who could otherwise potentially form a stronghold of dissent against the regime – into compliant settlers. Simultaneously, and to complete the colonizing circle, many southern agricultural workers were sent to coastal Libya and the Horn of Africa to themselves become new settlers, at the expense of Indigenous populations.
However, the plans for social engineering and modernization in the South of Italy were short-lived. Most of the fascist villages built in rural Sicily are meanwhile abandoned to a slow decay.
Info from: Pathways for Undoing Colonial Fascist Architectural Legacies in Sicily | Emilio Distretti, Alessandro Petti