A “CURSED” town in an area locals say was “shunned by God” was left abandoned after a series of biblical disasters – but thousands of tourists still visit.

Built on a very steep hill the town suffered from a serious of disastrous earthquakes and landslides that left the medieval town in ruins.


Craco is now a popular tourist destination in ItalyCredit: Alamy
The town was destroyed by several biblical disasters


The town was destroyed by several biblical disastersCredit: Alamy

The disasters, caused by the sewage and water works caused the population of the small Italian town to quickly leave in the 1960s before an earthquake shattered the remaining resident’s hopes of a peaceful life.

In 1963, the last 1,800 people were taken down the mountain to a valley called Craco Peschiera.

The unlucky town has been called cursed because of the biblical disasters and was completely empty by 1980.

Since then it has been a spot for tourists to visit in Italy due to the town’s history.

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Thousands of people come each year to stand on the 1,300ft cliff and look at the eerie leftovers.

Although only 35 people are allowed in at a time to keep the medieval town safe.

Guided tours let brave visitors explore the ruins wearing hard hats.

The remaining area has two tall towers missing its bells, rusty balconies and hundreds of archaic buildings covered in overgrown weeds.  

The churches are still there, including the church of Santa Maria della Stella, where a statue of the Virgin and Child was miraculously discovered by a shepherd.

The Child went missing, but the original Virgin is still there among the ruins.

Other stories surrounding the ghost town include a tavern run by a temptress, who would seduce her customers and turn them into vinegar.

The Italian region of Basilicata, where Craco sits over, was famously described in Carlo Levi’s 1945 memoir, Christ Stopped at Eboli

Levi was a doctor, painter and antifascist from Turin and became a political exile when Mussolini took power.

He and was banished to the Italian south in Craco in towns with no healthcare, electricity or running water and criminals all around him.

The belief in magic and spells was stronger than Christianity.

In one village, locals said that Christ stopped at Eboli or that religion and progress had effectively bypassed this part of Italy.

People then believed that this led to the town being “shunned by God”.

Craco was first settled by the Greeks in the sixth century AD.

In 1656 the Black Death spread across the town killing hundreds in another example of the cursed town.

In 2007, the descendants of the immigrants of Craco in the US formed The Craco Society.

Their website says: “Although Craco Vecchio is no longer inhabited, it remains robust in the minds and hearts of the Crachese people everywhere.”

Later in 2010, Craco was put on the World Monuments Watch where it is looked after along with 600 other projects.

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It’s also been used in several films like Quantum of Solace and The Passion of The Christ.

Around the world there are several other abandoned towns such as the mining town of Bodie, California that shows tourists what the American wild west would’ve looked like.

Thousands of people had to leave their homes after landslides and an earthquake


Thousands of people had to leave their homes after landslides and an earthquakeCredit: AFP – Getty
Guided tours now take place in the ruins with 35 people allowed at a time for safety


Guided tours now take place in the ruins with 35 people allowed at a time for safetyCredit: Alamy
It stands on a 1,300ft cliff at the top of a hill


It stands on a 1,300ft cliff at the top of a hillCredit: AFP – Getty

Georgie English

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