Craco is in the heel of Italy, where the central mountain spine terminates just above the ‘boot’. It used to be a wealthy trading centre with a mighty castle and a huge basilica. After the 1980 earthquake, the residents packed up and moved away. You can visit Craco earthquake ghost town on the road between Stigliano and Pisticci, and wander past romantic ruins.
Craco Earthquake Ghost Town in Italy
Windows still gape from the ruined castle, monastery, and church. Today, there is no brightly coloured washing hanging the balconies though. The pubs have fallen silent. There is no more laughter from the students. Many people died in the disaster. The question arises, why did they build a town in an earthquake zone some time in the 8th Century?
Window from Nothing
The reason turned into a death wish 1,200 years later. Craco is on a rock formation that commands the surrounding hills and valleys. The bastion of knowledge, civilization, and faith withstood everything the Moorish and Barbarian armies hurled at it. The only force it could not withstand was the Irpinia earthquake. Craco stood no chance, as its walls cracked and crumbled, and tumbled down the mountainside.
Craco earthquake ghost town is a popular tourist attraction but we recommend an experienced travel guide. It has also become a regular movie set. I suppose there is always a possibility of spotting your favourite film star here. When you visit, there are small hotels and pensions nearby offering traditional accommodations and local cuisine.