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On Halloween, if ghosts won’t come, you must go to the ghosts! The world is full of beautiful deserted villages: even if no one lives there anymore, in many of these it is still possible to perceive presences all around. Biking through abandoned towns is a different approach to traveling escaping the hustle and bustle: here you can find a quiet shelter, which in most cases causes mixed feelings. For their unique allure, ghost towns are recommended for many different kinds of outings. Romantic ride? Anything better. Solitary excursion? Peace of mind guaranteed. Looking for some scare? Well, Halloween is just around the corner…

Italian ghost hamlets are renowned worldwide for their sinister beauty. Let’s discover some of these villages first, and then we will visit another couple of abandoned gems all around the world.

1) BUSSANA VECCHIA (Italy)

Deserted due to an earthquake in 1887, Bussana Vecchia is a charming medieval village nearby Sanremo. The town is been empty for more than seventy years, until a community of artists started repopulating its abandoned edifices making the town a unique case in the world. Bussana Vecchia is still almost entirely uninhabited, and wandering through its hushed alleyways may be a peaceful thing, abruptly interrupted by a phantasmatic, spooky noise. In that case, don’t panic: it might have been emitted by the work of one of the fifty artisans and artists that silently live there. Some people offer the visitors delicious feasting to make their stay a little less frightful… not to be missed!

2) CRACO (Italy)

Craco is probably the creepiest ghost town in Italy, maybe because of its decent size: getting lost through its silent streets will be a scary, though enchanting experience. Vexed by landslides, earthquakes and floods, it preserved its beauty intact nonetheless. Riding through Craco, your eye will be caught by the splendor of its architecture, which dates back to the middle ages when the town was at its finest. Located in Basilicata, about forty minutes away by bike from the Sassi of Matera, the town offers emotional landscapes and panoramic views on the countryside.

3) NINFA (Italy)

The Garden of Ninfa is an absolute treat for those who travel through the central Italy’s inland. A one-hour ride from Rome, Ninfa is a ancient ghost town all surrounded by a dreamlike landscape garden that will make you feel like you are somewhere in-between a fantasy and a horror film location. Romantic and mysterious, the garden includes several kinds of trees and flowers, waterfalls, lakes, brooks, grass lawns, all this embracing ancient and medieval ruins of the old town of Ninfa, founded thousands years ago and partly untouched. Defined as “the most enchanting place in the world” by the New York Times, the garden of Ninfa is going to impress you for sure.

4) GAIRO VECCHIO (Italy)

Located at the foot of Gennargentu massif, Sardinia, this ghost town is a perfect destination whether you are planning a mountain hike or a day at sea: a few kilometers away, indeed, you can visit either some of the heavenliest Mediterranean beaches or the luxuriant Sardinian countryside. Totally abandoned after a flood in 1951, Gairo Vecchio is now totally immersed into the local nature, rich of junipers, oleanders and carob trees. A ride through its streets would let you feel catapulted into an undefined past.

5) ORADOUR-SUR-GLANE (France)

Seriously damaged after World War II, the attractive resort town of Ordour-Sur-Glane was totally abandoned by the few citizens left. Aquitaine, the region where the town is located, is one of the best area where to take bike journeys in France, thanks to the perfect viability of its roads, surrounded by the vivid green of central France’s outback. Oradour-Sur-Glane remained untouched in many of its parts and offers fascinating views on its churches, its distinctive buildings and the beautiful castle which dominates the hamlet.

6) BODIE (California, US)

If you have always dreamt to live the thrill of a Western movie, Bodie is definitely your destination. Abandoned more than fifty years ago and formerly a mining town, it feels like time has stood still there: in Bodie you can stroll around typical Far West houses and cabins, getting into the stereotypical juke joints and see vintage vehicles parked since then. It is highly recommended to visit Bodie at night, when the sky takes on a cliffhanging tint and ghosts seem to roam through the untarmacked roads of the town.

7) MANDU (India)

Situated in central India, Mandu is a bewitching ghost town and archeological site. It maintains some of the best-kept examples of Afghan architecture, which inspired the most famous temples of India, including the Taj Mahal, and has been the royal residence of many kings and sultans. The abandoned town is full of mystiques and curiosities and entirely surrounded by a magnificent fortress. Absolutely unmissable if you want to add some mystery to your Indian journey.