Craco is located in the Italian region of Basilicata and is one of the most abandoned ghost towns in the country. The town offers a dramatic landscape and unique atmosphere with deserted streets and medieval buildings.
The town was built on a hill composed of clay-rich soil with different levels of drainage making the terrain highly unstable. Due to nature of the terrain, Craco was affected by many landslides of natural origin. Towards the end of the 19th century the city had reached its maximum expansion limits. A severe famine due to poor agricultural conditions caused a mass migration of part of Craco’s population to North America. The remaining inhabitants were relocated to a nearby valley called Craco Peschiera while the original medieval village remained in a state of a ghost town. The first mentioning of the town dates back to 1060 when the land was owned by Archbishop Arnaldo.
Craco was once a very prosperous town with amazing castles. By the end of the 19 th century the town counted several magnificent noble palaces including Palazzo Rigirone, Palazzo Cammarota, Palazzo Miadonna and Palazzo Carbone. The palaces were adorned with beautiful marbles and woodwork, colorful frescoes and impressive chandeliers.
Martyr of Craco
One of the patron saints of Craco is Vincenzo, Martyr of Craco, a minor saint of the Roman Catholic Church, remembered in devotions by the people of Craco and immigrants and their descendants who settled in North America. San Vincenzo’s feast day is celebrated on the fourth Sunday of October. The main church of Craco, the Chiesa Madre San Nicola, built in the 14th century, was dedicated to San Nicola of Bari, bishop of Myra, also patron saint of the city of Craco. The Crachesi also celebrate the Madonna della Stella, on the first Sunday of May.