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    • Day 62

      Il paese fantasma 👻

      November 30, 2023 in Italy ⋅ ☁️ 16 °C

      Ieri ci siamo dati da fare tra studio e lavoro e dopo un bellissimo pranzo al sole ☀️ abbiamo deciso di fermarci un’altra notte lì, tra le colline materane ⛰️

      Ma eccoci ripartiti 🚐
      Subito abbiamo pensato di fare rifornimento acqua ad una piccola fontana 🚰 e mentre stavamo allegramente chiacchierando, all’improvviso vediamo acqua uscire dallo sportellone posteriore ⚠️ Dopo una immediata evacuazione dei poveri cani 🐕 ci siamo resi conto che durante i lavori alla pompa avevamo dimenticato di riavvitare il tappo del serbatoio 😅 Ups.. 🙈
      Ci rimettiamo in viaggio e dopo poco tempo intravediamo i primi calanchi ai lati delle larghe valli della Basilicata 😍 L’insieme dei colori della terra e della vegetazione ci rapisce subito🌲 Infatti domani andremo a scoprirli più da vicino 😋
      Passiamo per Craco, un piccolo villaggio colpito negli anni settanta da una violenta frana 😯 Invece di creare dei terrazzamenti e piantare alberi per bloccare il cedimento, si scelse di erigere muri di cemento, che iniziarono a cedere quasi subito 🌳 forzando la popolazione a lasciare le proprie abitazioni 🏡 Il suo soprannome ‘Il paese sospeso nel tempo’ lo descrive perfettamente ⏱️
      Proseguiamo su strade che serpeggiano tra ulivi e aranci 🍊 e parcheggiamo Tana giusto in tempo per goderci un tramonto spettacolare dietro alle montagne che vediamo in lontananza 🏔️

      PS: Sono ufficialmente due mesi che siamo in viaggio 🥰
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    • Day 50

      The Ghost Town of Craco

      October 18, 2018 in Italy ⋅ ⛅ 19 °C

      We woke to the town covered in fog and because we were close to the edge of town overlooking the gully it looked like we were at the edge of the world.

      We enjoyed a very delicious breakfast today with our Italian hostess. This was a bit different to usual as we have always eaten our breakfast by ourselves in the past, either in a common breakfast room, on our balconies or with a voucher for a cafe close by. Today we enjoyed a very delicious breakfast in our host’s kitchen. Her home was above our “cave” rooms and it was beautiful. It was great hearing how her and her brother bought three rooms many years ago and as rooms next door became available they bought those too until they had enough to create their home.

      Because our hostess had lived in Australia for ten years she spoke very good English and it was lovely to be able to communicate with her. She was telling us about how hard it is to live in Italy with the cost of living and taxes. Both Brad and I have realised while touring this country how very lucky we are to live in Australia and how we actually see the benefits of our rates and taxes. We really do live in the lucky country.

      First stop today was the abandoned village of Craco. Craco is a ghost town and comune in the Province of Matera, in the southern Italian region of Basilicata. The old town was abandoned due to natural disasters and the abandonment has made Craco a tourist attraction and a popular filming location. In 2010, Craco was included in the watch list of the World Monuments Fund.

      Around 540 BC, the area was called Montedoro and inhabited by Greeks who moved inland from the coastal town of Metaponto. Tombs have been found dating from the 8th century BC, suggesting the original settlement dates back to then.

      In 1963, Craco began to be evacuated due to a landslide and the inhabitants moved to the valley of Craco Peschiera. The landslide seems to have been provoked by works of infrastructure, sewer and water systems. In 1972 a flood worsened the situation further, preventing a possible repopulation of the historic center. After the earthquake in 1980, the ancient site of Craco was completely abandoned.

      Mel Gibson’s Passion of the Christ was partially shot in Craco along with lots of other movies.

      We had hoped to do a tour of the old town but English speaking tours aren’t that popular in the off peak season. Because you can’t enter the site unless you are in a tour we made do with photographing the city from beyond the walls. It is hard to comprehend that an entire city had been abandoned. We have seen many homes, buildings and complexes abandoned as we have driven around Italy but not such a large town.

      It was a pretty cool detour and I have loved the countryside we have been driving through. The countryside in Southern Italy has been very different to Northern Italy and very picturesque. I’m very happy we have been able to experience both ends of Italy.
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    • Day 9

      Craco - die verlassene Stadt

      May 23, 2019 in Italy ⋅ ☁️ 20 °C

      Heute geht die Reise weiter. Nicht ohne einen sehr wertvollen Reisetipp von Gianfranco, den besten Stellplatzbetreiber Italiens.
      Ihr müsst nach Craco - wenn ihr Richtung Napoli fahrt, dann müsst ihr da vorbei. Schlechte, enge Straße dorthin, aber ihr kommt da hin. Die dicken Camper bleiben stecken, aber ihr nicht. Wir haben gedacht, wenn er das sagt, dann wird das schon stimmen. Also, treiben lassen und einfach mal losfahren. Und er hatte recht. Straßen auf eine breite von 2,30 Meter verengt. Schlaglöcher so groß und tief wie mindestens 1 Basektball. Wir haben uns durchgekämpft und dann stand sie da. Auf einen Hügel - von der Natur zum großen Teil bereits eingenommen - Craco die verlassene Stadt in der Basilikata.
      Früher war das ein Militärstützpunkt vom Friedrich II. (der auch das Castel del Monte gebaut hat - ihr erinnert Euch, da waren wir vor ein paar Tagen) und später auch Universitätsstadt. Die weitere Geschichte zu der Stadt wollen wir nicht weiter vertiefen. Interessant ist, dass die Stadt durch eine Serie von Erdrutschen zwischen 1959 und 1972 nahezu zerstört wurde (ausgelöst durch den Bau der Kanalisation). Nach einem Erdbeben in der Region hat man 1980 die Stadt aufgegeben. Im Jahr 2010 wurde Craco vom World Monuments Fund auf die Liste der gefährdeten Kulturdenkmäler aufgenommen.
      Wir wurden heute aufs Neue überrascht, was wir alles „entdecken“ wenn wir uns treiben lassen und nicht alles planen.
      Apropos planen - ganz können wir es dann doch nicht lassen. So sind wir gestern noch Abends im Bus gesessen bei einem gemütlichen Glas Rotwein und haben mit großen Erstaunen festgestellt, dass der Urlaub zu kurz wird. Wir haben ja groß Napoli eingeplant, mit Pompeji, Vesuvbesteigung, Amalfi-Küste und, und, und......
      Nach kurzem Überlegen haben wir beide beschlossen, dass Napoli eine extra Reise wert ist und es viel zu schade wäre, hier nur 2 oder 3 Tage zu verbringen, um die Stadt und die Region zu erkunden. Und wir haben ja auch auf Sizilien noch Einiges vor uns, das uns brennend interessiert. Nach dieser Erkenntnis haben wir beschlossen, Neapel links liegen zu lassen und nur die Amalfi-Küste zu genießen. Deshalb sind wir heute nicht nach Neapel auf einen Zeltplatz, sondern zwischen Amalfi und Vesuv gelandet. Dazu gibt es dann noch später einen Bericht. Wir treiben weiter und genießen die Spontanität außerhalb jeder Hektik und Alltag.
      Zwischen Craco und unseren Zeltplatz gab es noch eine gemütliche Brotzeit am Rande eines Olivenhains. Schon praktisch, so eine kleine Küche mit Kühlschrank 😋
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    • Day 159

      Quantum of Solace

      April 4, 2019 in Italy ⋅ ⛅ 16 °C

      Craco, founded in the 8th century sits on a cliff 400 meters off of the ground.
      Once it was important, confirmed by a Norman Tower from 1040, a convent from 1630, the ruins of St Nicholas’ church and bloated Angevin tax registers.
      After surviving the black plague, brigands and rapacious absentee landlords for more than 1,400 years, a landslide finally forced residents from Craco in 1991.
      10 Euros will get you a guided walk through the centre but having walked through one abandoned village already I couldn't see the point of another stroll through the streets. Numerous signs made it clear that this was a special tourist site, where every photo belongs to the administration and unauthorised shots like all of mine forbidden by the mayor.
      The Quantum of Solace, (partly filmed here,) is that it has become a popular film set. Several scenes from "Christ Stopped at Eboli" (directed by Francesco Rosi) were actually shot here in 1979. Other films include "King David" with Richard Gere, "Ninfa Plebea" by Lina Werthmuller, and the last scene of The Passion by Mel Gibson.
      The columns of a destroyed temple will surely engage fervent speculation by archaeologists in a few hundred years. Who were the Gods worshipped here, where only traces of 20thC transport can be found?
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    You might also know this place by the following names:

    Craco-Sant'Angelo, Craco

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