The Italian village without cars

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The first cableway was small, but it allowed people to move quickly up and down the mountain. The cableway’s 700m ascent took just a few minutes. In 2001, a more modern cableway that could carry more passengers in greater comfort made its debut.

Even with the short commute to the valley below, though, Chamois continues to shrink. The population, which once numbered approximately 350, now hovers at around 100 inhabitants. Its residents remain determined, though, and harness the town’s small size and circumstances to experiment with sustainability projects like renewable energy systems.

Indeed, Chamois is one of 19 “Alpine Pearl” villages that dot the Alps of Austria, Germany, Italy, Slovenia and Switzerland. This group of popular resort towns and lesser-known villages is united by a commitment to environmental sustainability, including climate-friendly transportation options.

And though it’s isolated, Chamois still draws visitors yearning for a slower speed, Matterhorn views and outdoor pursuits. In summer, cyclists and hikers explore the area at a relaxed pace; in winter, skiers glide down 16km of uncrowded slopes and off-piste routes at Chamois’ modest ski resort.

The few minutes that separate Chamois from the valley below are enough to shelter it from the velocity of modern life. In Italy’s town without cars, life is driven by a humane pace, and the Alpine views stretch for miles.

This video is part of BBC Reel’s Remote Places playlist.

(Video by Martin Errichiello, text by Christine Sarkis) 

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