Inside the abandoned ‘Las Vegas of Italy’, which once lured well-heeled visitors from Milan

inside the abandoned las vegas of italy which once lured well heeled visitors from milan

It’s certainly one of the grander ghost towns – and being Italian, it even has a functioning bar.

These pictures give you a mesmerising glimpse inside the so-called Città dei Balocchi – ‘City of Toys’ – which was once a playground for well-heeled residents and tourists from Milan, an 80-minute drive to the south.

In its heyday, the tourist hotspot, in the foothills of the Alps, lured visitors with quirky architecture and attractions that included shopping galleries, casinos, restaurants, a grand hotel and a ballroom. It even had a fake castle. But now the eerie carcass of this eccentric folly sits crumbling on the hillside, with the surrounding woodlands slowly swallowing it.

The so-called Città dei Balocchi – ‘City of Toys’ – was once a playground for well-heeled residents and tourists from Milan, an 80-minute drive to the south 

In its heyday, City of Toys lured visitors with quirky architecture and attractions that included shopping galleries, casinos, restaurants, a grand hotel and a ballroom. It even had a fake castle 

The eerie carcass of this eccentric folly sits crumbling on the hillside. Above, a Chinese pagoda slowly subsides

The ‘city’ was the brainchild of eccentric entrepreneur Count Mario Bagno. He’d been involved in constructing many of Italy’s roads and airports, but decided in the 1960s to capitalise on the economic boom and branch out to create an Italian Las Vegas.

His method for building it was fairly brutal.

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