Work began on Italy’s Grande Hotel San Calogero more than 61 years ago, but has never once hosted a single guest.
Built within the famous Sciacca region, southern Sicily, the hotel was developed to promote the beauty of the area, particularly encouraging tourists to visit the nearby thermal baths which have been well known since antiquity.
The hotel sits on top of the Monte Kronio, the perfect location for guests to walk to the baths and relax or visit the Basilica of San Calogero.
Construction began in 1954, and took nearly 30 years to complete. It was originally set to open in the early 1980s however there was one big problem – no one decided on who would run the hotel for the next 10 years.
According to the The Local It, an Italian News site, the hotel slowly fell into disrepair so Sicily’s regional authorities decided to provide the funds to re-open it. Finally nearing completion and set to open in 1993, there was another major oversight. It was revealed that the hotel didn’t have a properly connected drainage system.
In 2010 a reported 800,000 euros was awarded to the local business co-operative that was appointed to manage the hotel back in 1993. Pushing back the opening date of the 300-room hotel another few years, it was opened again in 1998 but soon closed.
A different company agreed to take in the hotel in 2000 when authorities drew up plans to finally fix the drainage problems but the work never started. The Local It said Italian newspaper La Repubblica reported that Sciacca Council had “forgotten” to ask for the funds to begin work, so once again plans for the hotel were put on hold.
Today, the hotel has been refurbished twice and had four ‘grand’ openings but still not one single guest has checked in. After 60 years of work and billions of Lira, it’s difficult to estimate the end cost of the Grande Hotel San Calogero.
The hotel is now considered one of Italy’s biggest white elephants, with no plans as of today to re-open.
All images courtesy of La Repubblica