Craco is a small town located in the province of Matera.
Craco Vecchia is the famous “ghost town of Basilicata” characterized by surreal silence, while Craco Peschiera is where the inhabitants moved to after the 1963 landslide, several floods and the terrible earthquake of the 1980s. The village has been listed in the “World Monuments Found,” a list of monuments to be safeguarded around the world.
The various landslides have reduced some buildings to rubble while others surprisingly are intact, such as the Norman Tower that Cracheans call ” the castle.” Other buildings of historical and artistic interest include as many as four Palazzi Nobiliari with decorations and frescoes that survived the collapses. Inside the ancient monastery of St. Peter, on the other hand, the MEC ( Emotional Museum of Craco) has been set up to learn about the history of the village over the centuries through projections and a digital historical and film archive.
Craco has been closed since late August 2020 due to arson, pending renovation. Currently only the museum and monastery can be visited.
The abandoned village of Craco was chosen as a film set for Mel Gibson’s film “The Passion of the Christ.” In particular, the background of Craco was chosen during the scene of the hanging of Judas. Another film that made this ghost town famous is: “Cristo si è fermato ad Eboli” by Francesco Rosi.