"Help! We bought a Village", the popular programme of the British Channel 4, presents Sellano in the UK through the words of Roberto Battista, current Town Councillor of the Umbrian village.
Starting this November, the well-known British television network Channel 4 will broadcast new episodes of the award-winning series "Help! We bought a Village'. Set in small, remote and often forgotten villages across Europe, this programme tells the story of former British citizens who, fascinated by the peaceful atmosphere of these places, decide to go and live there, bringing them back to life.
Channel 4's programme schedule states: 'Intrepid Brits restore empty and unloved settlements heading steadily for collapse, as they breathe new life into remote villages, hamlets, borgos and cortijos abroad'.
One of the stories in series two of the programme is set in Sellano, an enchanted ancient village in the Valnerina, whose story of rebirth is inextricably linked to the name of Roberto Battista and his commitment to projects for the development and repopulation of the area, including the construction of the long-awaited Tibetan Bridge. A story guided in part by destiny, which artfully designed its development and contours.
All because of the algorithm
Originally from Turin, Roberto Battista lived in England from 1979 until 2013, when he decided to leave with the intention of moving to France, in Languedoc Roussillon. But fate had no French residence in store for him and in fact his venture took a different turn.
Returning temporarily to Italy, he moved to Turin. It was then that, due to the exacting keywords employed, the search engines’ algorithm began to suggest some possible alternatives, very similar to what he was looking for, in Umbria, one of the greenest and most unspoilt regions in Italy.
Although he had no intention of returning permanently to the Bel Paese, instinct suggested he visit these places anyway. And instinct is rarely wrong. A visit to Sellano and the discovery of a semi-restored medieval convent convinced him on the spot: that would be his new home.
On the 23rd of December 2014, on his birthday, he moved to this authentic place in the Umbrian Apennines where he began renovation work on the former convent. But once again fate stepped in to upset all plans. In 2016, a violent earthquake struck the area, forcing Roberto to leave the almost completed residence and settle in various temporary accommodations. To date, his hope is to complete the reconstruction and return to his chosen home in 2024.
In the meantime, his love for this village, its history and nature, has led him to endeavour to bringing it back to life by dedicating himself to a variety of activities with children and the youth as well as developing projects, several of which have been successfully funded and led to the start of works such as the construction of the Tibetan bridge, an extraordinary piece of engineering linking Sellano to Montesanto. Channel 4's offer to star in a series of 'Help! We bought a village' was well received and contributes to the same objective: to make Sellano known by bringing it before the eyes of the world (the series has an audience of 5 million) so that its natural, historical and cultural heritage is not lost but rather rediscovered, enhanced and appreciated.
Because loving something also means protecting it, taking care of it.
We have just learned that the series has been sold to the US too, a unique opportunity to make Sellano known to a much wider audience.