Bussana Vecchia as a traditional Italian hill village came to an end at 6.21 am on the morning of Ash Wednesday 1887.That morning most of the inhabitants were sleeping or had gone to church before making their way to their fields.
The first shock was devastating. Many of the houses, particularly those around the castle were destroyed or seriously damaged. Many inhabitants were killed in collapsing buildings or died under the rubble later
The survivors built themselves huts in the fields at the entrance of the village, where they lived for seven years. The village was finally abandoned in 1894.
The church after the earthquake
Bussana after the earthquake - Huts in the fields at the entrance of the village, where the survivors lived for seven years
Nobody lived in the village for decades and the surrounding trees followed other growing things, into the untended houses, until disturbed by the San Remo Council trying to blast down the church tower and destroying still standing arches and staircases
San Giovanni Battista Oratory
in an attempt to render the village uninhabitable after migrant workers from south of Italy had found shelter in the least damaged of the houses.
Sleeping for several decades Bussana Vecchia was a ghost town inhabited by cats.