When it was built around 1820, La Casa Uomo Morto probably had a different name. Legend has it that a local roofer was killed in a tragic accident while working on the house, and that La Casa Uomo Morto subsequently got its name from the incident, which translates as “House of the Dead Man”. Up until the 1960s, the casa was still used as a farmhouse. After that, it wasn’t lived in for many years.
In 1982, Wilfried Hemmerich came across the old house while travelling through Tuscany. As chief executive of Esslingen’s youth association “Stadtjugendring” (SJR), he instantly knew Uomo Morto would make a great venue for annual summer camps. Then the house was put up for sale by its previous owner, a farmer from Salutio, in 1991. Having looked into many other possibilities but finding no other ‘ruins’ as enticing as Uomo Morto, SJR’s managers put in an offer and bought the house – even though it had neither a roof nor any sanitary facilities like bathrooms or showers at the time.
Over the years and more than 30 work camps later, the house has been renovated and is continually being brought up to modern standards. Today it has been transformed into an environmentally responsible venue for educational camps, sleeps up to 18 people at a time and even boasts its own water well, which was dug during one of the camps.