Italy's Lost Las Vegas

In a remote part of northern Italy lies the ruins of the once heralded 'City of Toys', a  Las Vegas style resort that now rusts and decomposes, a relic of a bygone era. Consonno is probably one of the most beautiful Italian ghost towns.

Until 1962 Consonno was a small farming town with a population that never exceeded 300. In the hills of Brianza this picturesque and peaceful location was just another sleepy town, that was until business tycoon Mario Bagno showed up with big ideas that this sleepy town would be the new Las Vegas - he had visions of casinos, playboys and lots of Lira..

Consonno in the 1950s before the demolition started. via
Mario Bagno - who bought and developed the town via
The sleepy town would not be so sleepy for long - once the deal had been struck practically every building in the town was razed they even went so far as to move the mountains, blasting and rearranging to make the most of the views. Construction began on this new pleasure town with Bagno taking inspiration from all over - there was a strange architectural mix - a Chinese pagoda, a mosque and a medieval castle.

A postcard of the holiday town via

Nightlife in the town in its heyday via

It did enjoy some success, visitors came and enjoyed the nightlife and new attractions, even some of the former residents working at the resort, but over time visitor numbers dwindled and interest was beginning to wane. Construction rolled on even with the resort being open to the public and its remote location and constant state of building work are attributed to its diminished success along with more attractive nearby resorts competing for business.

A postcard showing the main drag via
And then there was the landslide.... the landscape shifting had taken its toll on the terrain and in 1976 these events blocked the main access and the town was all but abandoned. A collection of broken buildings and unstable surroundings sealed its fate and the town has been crumbling ever since, haunting in its deteriorated state.

Rust covered and forgotten - the central building - via

The crumbling medieval style entrance which would have greeted visitors -

After this there had been some periods where they tried to rejuvenate the resort, even plans for a retirement community but a 2007 rave saw the end to those plans and the trashed buildings and site became an official no go zone. It remains today dilapidated and decomposing its very remoteness making the cost of demolition too high and so it continues to crumble, a shadow of a millionaires Vegas style vision.

Its years of neglect clear to see - via
The welcome sign rusting away -


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Taking a look at the beautiful and the strange in history, art, people and places.