The story of this medieval village is both tragic and fascinating and definitely has more than a dash of character and mystique. When I first heard about this tiny hamlet, I was intrigued because it is known as an ‘artists’ haven’. I love art and whenever I am surrounded by it I can feel my pulse quicken and soul soar. I just cannot seem to get enough of the good and bad vibrations that art delivers. Whether it’s a song, a sculpture or a painting, I want to experience it all.
I finally got my wish a few weeks ago, and even though it was a bit grey and most places were still closed for the season, I was happy to explore Bussana without the hustle and bustle of too many tourists.
As soon as we pulled up to the furthest point the road would take us, we were engulfed in the heavenly aroma of bbq! First stop was lunch! We ate and drank like Kings at La Casaccia (translation: Farmer’s Jacket). We ordered the mixed grilled meat and veggies, which were served on wooden boards and the Chianina beef just melted in our mouths.
Following lunch, we explored the village on foot. In 1887, tragedy struck when an earthquake caused the walls to come crumbling down around the villagers. Deemed unfit to live, Bussana Vecchia was abandoned and a new Bussana was created at the foot of the hill.
In the early 1960’s, it was renovated and repopulated by a group of International artists but there was a lot of controversy over this. In the beginning, these artists were mostly hippies and squatters. There was no electricity or running water and they were also faced with the anger of the old inhabitants who were forced to abandon the hamlet following the earthquake.
There was an attempt by the police to evict this new community of dwellers but this drew International attention in the media and so the police withdrew to avoid confrontation.
Today, Bussana Vecchia has a 4.5 star rating on TripAdvisor as a cool place to go. Technically, the structures are owned by the Italian Government but the community continues to thrive and is a major tourist attraction.
I enjoyed it so much that I am already planning to return this summer when there are more artists and events happening.
And speaking of events…why did I write ‘Creepy’ in the title of this post? Well, while I was reducing the size of my photos, I noticed a strange white haze in two of my pics. At first I thought that perhaps my lens got wet from a bit of rain but then upon closer observation, it became even stranger that this white ‘mist’ was only in two of the photos I took of the church.
Go ahead, check them out for yourself and tell me what you think it is…