Village of Craco
Municipality of Craco
Province of Matera
Center altitude: 391 m s.l.m.
San Nicola - second Saturday of October
Municipality of Craco
Via Mons. Mastronardi, 2 - Craco (MT)
Craco is a splendid "ghost town" located a few kilometers from Matera. Looking at it in the distance, it looks like a sculpture of medieval origins surrounded by the "Calanchi".
In 1963 the beautiful town was hit by a landslide, forcing the local population to leave the village to take refuge in the new municipality of Craco Peschiera.
What is left of the old town can be seen with a guided tour, along a safe route, which allows you to travel the main course of the village, until you reach what remains of the old main square and enter the core of the ghost town.
Of Craco Vecchia remain the stone houses clinging to the rock and between them stands the Norman tower in a dominant position on the ancient village.
The structure of Craco Vecchia, whose houses are perched around the tower that dominates the center, dates back to between 1154 and 1168, becoming an important military strategic center during the reign of Frederick II. Despite its abandonment, the village is rich in visitors. Once through the gate that protects the village, you can go to its discovery with a guide. You can go along the route with a protective helmet because some architectures still continue to collapse. Walking along the main street you reach the old main square. Among the noble palaces stand Palazzo Grossi, near the mother church dedicated to San Nicola, with its frescoes with floral motifs and Palazzo Carbone, a building from the end of the fifteenth century, with a monumental entrance. Next to the old Palazzo Maronna stands the tower, defined by the inhabitants as the "castle", as it dominates the town and it is still possible to see its original entrance portal and the tower with splendid windows.
To the north of Craco Vecchia stands the church of the Madonna della Stella, whose main altar in inlaid carved marble can still be admired, while between the nave and the presbytery there is a wrought iron gate. Furthermore, in the direction of Stigliano, you can admire the remains of the small church of Sant’Eligio, which is still part of a large and valuable fresco depicting the Crucifixion with Saints from the ‘500s.
Having recognized the beauty of the village, Craco is included in the list of World Monuments Funds. Here the scene of the hanging of Judas in "The Passion" (2004) by Mel Gibson was shoot.
In the cooking, the dishes reflect the character of the area. Among the traditional dishes, homemade pasta stands out, including tagliatelle with breadcrumbs, strascinati with meat sauce, orecchiette with turnip tops or cavatelli with cicerchia.
For desserts it is possible to taste cartellate and calzoncelli.
NOTE: distances are set as the crow flies.