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Craco, Italy’s ghost town in the Basilicata region, is a must-see and a popular movie set 

Tuesday, 05 April 2022 10:05

Craco is an Italian ghost town in the province of Matera in Italy’s southern Basilicata region. It dominates from atop a hill and, following a major landslide in the 1960s, the historic centre was evacuated, the population being forced to flee their homes.  It appears that the landslide was caused by routine maintenance repairs to the old residential centre, the work on sewers and water networks combining with the land's particular conformation to cause the disaster.

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Craco is perched on a hilltop

Craco is known for its natural architecture of stone and brick, the handiwork of skilled artisan builders. The houses appear to be entwined around the castle which dominates the entire township from its perch high on a hilltop. Many tourists visit Craco to wander through the alleyways in a surreal setting, with the gullies in the hilly areas of the Lucanian Apennines providing spectacular views.  

Craco is popular with movie directors

Craco is a natural movie set that has captivated many great film directors. It has appeared in works like Pier Paolo Pasolini's The Gospel according to Matthew and in Mel Gibson's The Passion the little town appears as ancient Palestine. Craco also appeared in Francesco Rosi's Christ stopped at Eboli, and in Marc Forster's James Bond - Quantum of Solace.

Visitors must reserve the guided tours 

Visitors to Craco can check out its history in the municipal media library for which they must make a reservation. For safety reasons and to protect the integrity of the town, visits are organized in groups and with a guide. In 2010 the historic centre of Craco was added to the watch list of the World Monument Fund, an independent international organisation that protects historical and cultural sites around the world.

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