The subject of the article is housing. It his not about public sector urban policies, but a specific aspect of private sector policies, that of second homes, a very widespread housing phenomenon, but which, at least in Italy, has been subject to little investigation and specific policies. Based on a survey of the literature, the aim of the article is to show the complexity of ‘itinerant’ living and the need to go beyond the notion of a second home. After observing the characteristics of second home settlement patterns in an Apline context, the article considers some important themes: soil consumption, abandonment, the composition of tourist populations, different use and re-use practices, public policies that might be pursued.
Keywords: Second homes; shrinkage; mountain