Balestrino – An Italian Ghost Town


Balestrino is a town in Italy comprising of two parts. The older part had a population of around 800 in 1860 however due to a number of earthquakes at the end of the century, the population dwindled and in 1953 the population of 400 that remained were moved out due to geographic instability. There are plans to redevelop the village as a tourist destination. Italy has a number of similar ghost towns however Balestrino seems to be the one that receives the most attention from tourists and urban explorers.

More information about visiting the abandoned town of Balestrino can be found at

Balestrino is a ghost town located 70 km south east of Genoa, Italy. The History of Balestrino dates back to 11th century A.D. It is believed that the town was owned by the Benedictine abbey of San Pietro dei. Something that used to be small town bustling with villagers farming olive is now a completely abandoned Ghost town. It is believed that a series of earthquakes and landslides had eventually resulted in the evacuation of the village in 1954.

Now all that is left is a picturesque town with abandoned buildings and a beautiful castle at the hilltop. The town can be reached via a rented car and is just 3.5 km inland from the Genoa-Ventimiglia highway. Church of St.George and St.Andrew, built in twelfth century A.D, are beautiful examples of Gothic architecture and perhaps the best places to start exploring the ghost town.

The castle located at the hilltop, is the only structure unaffected by the earthquakes, landslides and of course, time. Even after 60 years, the town has not lost its charm a bit and still carries the same ancient medieval breeze through the streets that used to be present hundreds of years ago. The bridge of Deautra is another place to check out. Presently, it is home for a variety of wild plants and exploring around the bridge could offer a thrilling experience.

New town of Balestrino is located a mile away from the town where people still grow olives. Local made products would be a cheap buy for the tourists. Now that the Government has decided to rebuild and redevelop Balestrino, hopefully it would no longer remain a ghost town.

Location: Balestrino, Italy

Category: Ghost Town

Abandoned: 1953



View of Balestrino

Street in Balestrino

View over Balestrino

Abandoned buildings in Balestrino

4 thoughts on “Balestrino – An Italian Ghost Town”

  1. The H2 History Channel just ran a piece on Balestrino in the Life After People series (21 Oct 2014, 5:40 pm) to show what would happen if there's no maintenance & repair on typical Euro towns. It looks to be a near-total ruin, cracked & collapsed walls, etc., and dangerous to enter. It also stated that Bal. was abandoned in 1958 (not 1953 or 54) & the people moved to the new village nearby. So take that mention that it's a neat place to visit with a ton of salt; you can get there and access is banned so you'll have nothing to do but go to the new village & spend money there. The Life After series was from 2010 so it may be worse now. Looks like a small 3.0 earthquake would send it down the hill. And the above write-up makes no mention of a brutal rule by feudal lords that made the residents slaves to torture. No pleasant ghosts there.

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