Between open air beds and paying people to pack up and move, Switzerland is no stranger to using—let’s just call it—slightly unusual methods of attracting visitors and new residents.
Case in point: This tiny town that’s transforming itself into a hotel to survive. Corippo, a pin prick of a village nestled into a hillside on the Italy-Switzerland border, is hoping to extend its life by turning itself into a tourist destination. With the help of local nonprofit Fondazione Corippo, the farming town of 12 people is refurbishing 30 of its 70 buildings for use as a “scattered hotel” called Casa Arcotti.
CNN reports that the $6.5 million project would expand the local (and only) osteria into a dining hall and reception space. Meanwhile, the town hall, main square, and church would become open-air communal spaces. The town boasts charming attractions like a chestnut-drying room and a bakery that will get shined up, as well as homes and cottages that will eventually become vacation rentals.
The concept, known in Italy as “albergo diffuso” (or scattered hotel), has been popular in Switzerland’s neighboring country as a way to revive villages with dwindling populations. In the case of Corippo, it’s an effort to reverse what appeared to be inevitable extinction—only one of the 12 residents is under the age of 65.
Casa Arcotti opened its first cottage in July, and it’s slated to open the entire hotel by spring of 2020.