Craco, the capital of all ghost towns - Italy, June 2021

Derelict Places

Help Support Derelict Places:


Well-known member
Jul 25, 2017
Reaction score

Golden Mountain #01

by Broken Window Theory

There are more than 6,000 abandoned villages in Italy. According to conservative estimates, another 15,000 have lost more than 95 percent of their residents - and that number is only set to increase. What you see here is the capital of them all: this is Craco, in the country's far south.

Golden Mountain #02

by Broken Window Theory

This is Craco. The old part of town, to be exact. It was built on the summit of a steep ridge centuries ago, giving the medieval town the appearance of being one with the mountain - hence the nickname "Golden Mountain", as people once used to call their home. But these people are gone, and as for their houses, only ghostly shells remain.

Golden Mountain #19

by Broken Window Theory

All we see are detached house ruins that seem out of place. There are massive cracks in the walls - a first indicator of why this site was abandoned. We look into what is left of the buildings. But they are just empty. By now, after almost half a century of vacancy, it is all looted. And what is still there is hardly secured against further collapse.

Golden Mountain #03

by Broken Window Theory

The name Craco first gets mentioned around the year 1060, but people have probably lived here even longer than that. Over the next 500 years, the population increased from only a few hundred individuals to about 2,500. Throughout history, Craco has been the victim of many disasters such as famine and raids. So, it seemed only natural for a large part of the population to emigrate to the New World. They went to North America at the end of the 19th and the early 20th century - primarily because of poor agricultural conditions back home.

Golden Mountain #18

by Broken Window Theory

Craco was devastated by a series of landslides. The first residential house was evacuated in 1963. Residents woke up after heavy rains just to see their kitchen or sitting room lying crumbled down the cliff. Over the coming months, more and more families were affected. Presumably, these mudslides were triggered by work on the sewers and water supply. For the fleeing inhabitants, a new settlement was built in the valley. But most people stayed in their homes on the Golden Mountain - until the 1980s, when an earthquake left almost every building in a state of dilapidation. Since then, Craco has been a ghost town.

Golden Mountain #08

by Broken Window Theory

Craco may be a ghost town, but indeed a very lively one. Yet, in times of the Coronavirus, there are only donkeys, and occasional tourists taking their vacation snaps from the street. But usually, there are events hosted, and so are religious festivals in front of this impressive backdrop. In Italy’s abandoned villages, the old owners have long since disappeared. Their heirs now live elsewhere, and nobody seems to care about the future of these sites anymore - especially when they are as rural as Craco.

Golden Mountain #10

by Broken Window Theory

If you want to see more of this fantastic place, you can do so in this video on YouTube:


Latest posts