palazzo-margherita / Historic Sites

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(33.2 km – 35 minute drive) 

Craco is located on a hill 390 meters above sea level. It sits on top of a cliff and gullies that characterize the hilly area of the Lucanian Apennines, and is surrounded by the Calanchi Lucani.

The town is characterized by spontaneous architecture with cut-out craft in stone and brick. The stone houses are intertwined around the castle which overlooks the entire village from the top of the cliff. In the surrounding area, tombs of the 8th century B.C. have been found, though the first historical evidence of the medieval village dates back to the 11th century A.D. In the Middle Ages, under the Norman rule, the ancient town grew in importance and became a cultural and military center under the reign of Frederick II.

Craco was permanently evacuated in 1963 when a landslide affected the safety of the entire medieval village. The abandonment of the old houses transformed the area into a ghost town now often used as a film set for historical films.