First Free Story (1 of 3)Join Skift Pro
A group of pensioners used to lining up on benches in a remote, mountain village in Italy have decided to stop watching the world go by and lure visitors with a video in which they dance to “Hot Stuff” by Donna Summer.
The unorthodox tourism video was filmed in Castrovalva, which is tucked away high in the Abruzzo mountains and boasts a permanent population of 19. As the music kicks in, two local men in their early 80s sitting in the village piazza appear, one tapping a walking stick and the other strumming a guitar to the 1970s disco hit.
Elderly local women also appear, miming to the lyrics against a backdrop of cobbled alleys and stunning views of the dramatic gorge over which the village perches.
Since being posted on YouTube, the video has been reposted by Italian newspapers drawn interest from TV stations. “It started as fun, then we realised it could help promote the village but we didn’t believe it would receive this much attention,” said Pietro Marchesani, who shot the video with another local house owner, Andrea Uncini.
Mr Marchesani said the video started out as a way for second home owners in the village – who also dance and mime in the video – to show their appreciation of the 19 permanent residents, most of whom are over 80.
“The locals are musical people, albeit more accustomed to singing local, religious songs,” said local culture assessor Mario Gian Antonio.
Castrovalva saw its heyday in the Middle Ages when it was on a sheep transhumance route that wound through the Abruzzo mountains. In 1930 it was drawn by the Dutch artist Escher. Today the village’s population swells to over 200 in summer.