Allerona: Within the walls of an Umbrian hilltown
Let's stop here at the intersection of Via Centrale and Via della Madonnina, in front of our town bar. By all means, grab a coffee or a prosecco if you'd like!
[1.5 SECOND PAUSE]
This is the center of town. You'll see our lone grocery store here at this crossroads, too. Paolo remembers when there were several bars in town, simple taverns, two shoemakers, a clothing store, housewares stores, two butchers and four or five grocers. His mother and sister used to run a pizzeria. There were 4-500 people living inside the walls as recently as the 1980s. Now there are about 70, and the majority of them are old timers.
A lot of people moved to Allerona Scalo because it was more convenient, had more services and was near the railway. There was also land available there to build new, larger houses. The lack of jobs and prospects in Allerona further led to its decline. So the bars and the businesses closed down and the young people left. Those that go off to university, especially, never come back, except to celebrate Christmas and New Year's.
Allerona was recently named among the 200 Borghi Piu Bella di Italia. Thats the 200 most beautiful villages in Italy. It's designation has been a boost to tourism and has given the town a renewed since of pride. People are starting to spend money on renovations, possibly with an eye towards AirBnB. And more and more information is being created for tourists. This summer we had a full roster of cultural events, from the annual visiting theatre troupes to concerts to apericenas, or food-heavy happy hours. So there's a hopefulness that maybe, just maybe, we're not just another one of Italy's dying hill towns.
[1.5 SECOND PAUSE]
When you're ready to move on, make your way down Via delle Fonti, the street perpendicular to Via Centrale, towards the stone entrance.