Lombardy ghost town hosts world hide and seek championships

8-10 Sept. Consonno in Lecco province hosts Nascondino World Championships.

The abandoned ghost town of Consonno in Lecco province, an hour’s drive from Milan, will host the Eighth Nascondino World Championships from 8 to 10 September.

Over 400 competitors in 80 teams from across the world will compete in the games, which started as a joke when a group of friends played among the ruins of what had been planned as a kind of Italian Las Vegas, with casinos, nightclubs and even a motor racing circuit. The imaginative project was abandoned over 50 years ago when a mudslide scotched the investors’ plans.

The group enjoyed itself so much that they decided to organise an official tournament.  The idea caught on like wildfire, and word spread across the continents. This year, teams (16 more than last year) will come from the US, Japan, Australia (two of them), several African countries, plus European entries from Switzerland, France – last year’s champions – Belgium, Portugal, Slovenia, Hungary, and of course Italy.

Friday and Saturday will see warm-up rounds explore the 65,000 sqm of terrain – the few remaining buildings are off limits as too dangerous – and prepare for the official championship on Sunday, with the award of the Golden Fig Leaf trophy. All of the fun and games will be accompanied by street food, concerts and DJ sets.