“Several companies started the projects without the intention of finishing them,”
The firms were only interested in winning the tender and securing access to the cash on offer.
You might hear similar stories in many Italian towns, especially in Sicily.
But with several large, failed projects concentrated here, little Giarre has come to be seen as the epicentre of the phenomenon – a kind of architectural white elephant capital.
Community activist Claudia D’Aita talked of how local people used to feel about this.
“We were ashamed of these buildings,” she said.
“We were known across Italy as the town that had wasted a lot of public resources. We just didn’t want to talk about it.”
But Ms D’Aita says that today she and her fellow activists want to do something about the problem.
“Nowadays we want to reclaim these spaces, even if they’re incomplete.”