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.
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.
By road, Craco is just west of SS103 or SS176.
Craco may be toured on foot.
- 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.
- 1 Hotel Torre Fiore, Contrada Terranova Snc, 75015 Pisticci, ☏ +39 0835 58 02 39, fax: +39 0835 58 09 15. Boutique hotel in 16th-century masseria.
- Policoro and the Gulf of Taranto