From what I am told, some workers for the Italian railroad were provided with a home along the tracks, where the tracks were to be changed manually at different times of the day and in the cities itself. A house conveniently located close to the junction made it a breeze to perform the necessary tasks.
Times change and the need for this position evaporated. However, the house continued to collect memories within its walls up until the last owner died, or chose to live elsewhere. New laws determined it illegal to live within a certain distance of the tracks making it useless for anyone to sell the property.
Those few who do live in a home like this, are grandfathered in. It's only a roof over their heads with reason only for repairs, nothing more.
Now, what was once little hubs of life are only remnants of history and testaments to the passage of time.