The Ghost Towns of Italy
By: Liz Flynn
The majority of the population of Craco in Basilicata migrated en masse to America between 1892 and 1922. Some of the reasons that contributed to this included poor farming, war, landslides, and earthquakes. Approximately 1,800 inhabitants remained in the town until 1963 when a major landslide resulted in the town being evacuated. The residents moved to Craco Peschiera, a nearby valley.
Romagnano al Monte
Located in the province of Salerno in Campania, the village of Romagnano al Monte was destroyed in 1980 in the Irpinia earthquake. The village was rebuilt just a few kilometers away and the ruins at the village’s original site are now a tourist attraction.
Monte Calvario is a landmark in Calabria with five strange pinnacles and it is here that the ghost town of Pentedattilo is located. It was the Greeks who first inhabited this village in 640 BC. An earthquake in 1783 resulted in most of the residents to leave the village. Between the 1960s and 1980s, the village was partially restored.
Like Romagnano al Monte, this town is located in the province of Salerno in Campania. It has remained uninhabited since the early 20th century because of a landslide. The ghost town is now an eco-museum.
A series of earthquakes between 1980 and 1981 led to inhabitants fleeing the village of Tocco Caudio in the province of Benevento, Campania. The residents could not rebuild the village so they resettled around the ridge.
Giardino di Ninfa
Giardino di Ninfa has been abandoned not once, but twice. The town was originally founded by the Volscians and the town thrived between the 8th and 14th centuries. When Pope Alexander III took refuge in the town, it was destroyed by order of his enemy, Emperor Frederick Barbarossa. The town was repopulated when it was purchased by a noble family in 1297. It was abandoned for a second time in the 16th century due to an outbreak of malaria.