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Craco is a town in the province of Matera, Italy. It was abandoned towards the end of the 20th century due to natural disasters. The abandonment has made Craco a tourist attraction and a popular filming location.


Abandoned hilltop village of Craco

Craco as a town dates to at least 1060, when the land was the possession of Archbishop Arnaldo, Bishop of Tricarico. A prior Greek settlement existed around 540 AD under the name “Montedoro”.

At its peak in 1561, the population of Craco's Old Town was close to 2600 people; in 2008, it was less than 800. The period from 1892-1922 was one of high emigration due to poor agricultural conditions.

There have been several earthquakes and a series of landslides between 1959 and 1972. The old town was abandoned in 1963 due to landslide damage, thus becoming a ghost town, and the inhabitants moved to the hamlet of Craco Peschiera. Today Craco is used as a filming location for various feature productions.

Get in


By road, Craco is just west of SS103 or SS176.

Get around

Map of Craco

Craco may be toured on foot.


Panoramic view of the town
  • Castello tower
  • Observant Friars Minor, 17th-century church dedicated to St. Peter.
  • Santa Maria della Stella, church with a statue of the Virgin Mother Mary and Child said to have been discovered by a shepherd.


  • Wander the streets and look into the houses, which were left as they were but are slowly deteriorating.









Craco was abandoned in 1963. The closest populated place is Pisticci.



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