This abandoned village in western Sicily is one of a number of farmers’ villages (borghi rurali) built at the instruction of the Italian dictator Benito Mussolini. Known as Borgo Amerigo Fazio, the village was built in 1939—only a few years before the end of Italy’s fascist regime.
The idea was to create a design with clear structures: church, school, administration buildings, police, and public health offices in the center, surrounded by private residences. Mussolini believed that if the amenities of a city were available in the countryside, people would choose to remain and work the surrounding land, thereby increasing agricultural production. But, like the other borghi rurali in Sicily (Borgo Schiro, Borgo Cascino, Borgo Borzellino, etc.), Borgo Fazio was never actually used by locals.
A special one was “Borgo Mussolinia” (today: San Pietro, coordinates are 37°06’ N / 14°29’ E). Since the Duce wanted to be informed about every step of the construction and nothing was built, the locals designed a faked photo album, which was sent to Rome to show the “results.” Borgo Mussolina never existed—but Borgo Fazio did (like Borgo Schiro, for instance). You can visit it for free at any time.
Know Before You Go
There are some 15 borghi rurali in Sicily. Most of the are uninhabited, some buildings are used as farm sheds. You need a car to get there, or a bike.