Deadly Relics: Ghost Towns in the South of Italy [ARTICLE]

A phototour between the main ghost towns between Campania and Basilicata, the place where I live.

Let’s start with probably most famous ghost town of the Basilicata: Craco.

DSC08898Craco is a ghost town near Matera, Basilicata, in the south of Italy

The first traces of human presence in the area of Craco are some graves dating back to the VIII BC found in the locality of San Angelo.

Like other nearby towns, it might have offered shelter to the Greek colonies of Metaponto, when they moved to hilly terrain, perhaps to escape the malaria was rampant in the plain. Craco was later a Byzantine settlement.

DSC08916 DSC08930 Due to a large-scale landslide in 1963 Craco was completely evacuated and the population moved to the valley.

Since then Cracow became a veritable ghost town, one of the rare examples in Italy, and for several decades impresses travelers and many directors who have chosen the center Lucan to shoot some scenes of their films, such as The Passion of the Christ by Mel Gibson or 007: Quantum of Solace with Daniel Craig.
GhostTown ThumbAnyone who wants to venture in Craco must keep in mind that it is forbidden to approach the house, as there is a risk of collapse.

However, the landscape that can be seen from the foot of the village you will amply repay the time taken to reach it.

Always in Basilicata, there is The Old Brienza.

The Old Brienza is a ghost town now without doors and windows, sometimes without roofs, naked in front of the elements of nature that snatch slowly, gradually wrapping it under their coat, creating a strange commixture city and vegetation.

The old boundaries of the walls, palaces, churches, towers of defense and lookout are no longer clearly identifiable as such, no longer function as the limit of a man-made environment protected, but in a broader sense, belong to a context to merging with nature.

Another stunning ghost town right on the border between Campania and Basilicata is Romagnano al Monte, perched on top of a mountain 650 meters above sea level.

1Walking in the streets, you have the feeling that the same is still inhabited by invisible people, this feeling is amplified by the constant noises coming from the houses, such as the windows closed and then opened again (due to the wind).


DSC06085 The country has been completely abandoned since 1980, year of the Irpinia earthquake, and everything is frozen on that date.

DSC06089We also can’t forget a very particular ghost town in Campania, The Old Roscigno.

DSC07550A very small and particular abandoned place, the citizens of The Old Roscigno fled in 1902 due to continuous landslides and since then the time has stopped. There are houses with rooms and courtyards, the church, the square.


There are houses and some can even get to see the rooms with furniture.


DSC07542Actually in the Old Roscigno lives only one person, Mister Giuseppe Spagnuolo, a man who looks like a character of a Hemingway’s book.

DSC07538Everyone’s and no one’s places, memories of yesterday crystallized for tomorrow’s generations. These are the Ghost Towns. 

Author: Mariarita Cupersito

Mariarita Cupersito is an Italian gothic writer. She collects Venetian masks, reads lots of books, comics and manga. She loves music, all Tim Burton's movies, and, sometimes, she tries extreme sports.

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