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GHOST TOWNS IN ITALY


6 ideas for curious travelers

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It is absolutely wonderful to spend time exploring luxurious Italian lake resorts, admire polished marble churches and see with own eyes cultural heritage masterpieces. But there is one more side of Italy, not that shiny one, but definitely not less interesting too. And, there the speech goes towards abandoned villages, towards ghost towns, where till now one can hear strange noises, silent footsteps and feel the chilly wind.
So, which “dead cities” in Italy could attract travelers, searching for different experiences? 
 
Craco. Craco, a medieval village of Basilicata, for today’s visitors opens a door to surreal life. This abandoned place, located on the hill over the Cavone Valley, in the past was a Norman stronghold. But in the second part of 20 century inhabitants were forced to leave their town for recurrent earthquakes and landslides. Now this town is more and more taken by nature. Nobody is living there, no civilization can be found in this ghost town. However, there are people who claim that in Craco they can hear strange noises, footsteps and screams or even see the dim light at the windows. They say that souls are searching for their home. This spooky atmosphere is very attractive for movie creators as filming location. Who could tell that Craco wasn’t the perfect destination to make some shoots for Mel Gibson’s “Passion of the Christ”?
 
 
The Valley of Mills. One more abandoned place is Il Vallone dei Mulini, or the Valley of the Mills, located close to Sorrento. Here, for the main object is lonely neglected mill, surrounded by vegetation. In the early 8th people built this mill for grinding the grain. As well around there were built a sawmill and a public laundry, where women were washing clothes. There is very little known about the history of the Valley of the Mills and all details which are known now were picked only from a few old photographs, prints and paintings.
Abandoned since the end of 19th century, the mill has now been adopted by various plants, especially the ferns, what turned it into a true work of art. Best views of the place appear from via Fuorimura, behind Piazza Tasso.
 
 
Pentadattilo. Pentadattilo, founded by Greeks in 640 BC, is an ancient village in southern Calabria with a beautiful landscape and magnificent views of Sicily and Mount Etna beyond. 
Pentadattilo is perched on the cliff of Mount Calvary, the characteristic shape that resembles a gigantic hand with five fingers, and from which it derives its name (from Greek “daktylos” and “penta” means “five fingers”). Unfortunately, some parts of the mountain collapsed and it no longer represents all “five fingers” but it remains a fascinating place, full of mystery. Now every summer this “ghost town” holds the festival “Paleariza”, an important event of Hellenistic culture, and international Pentadattilo short Film Festival.
The town was severely damaged by an earthquake in 1783, which caused the migration of much of the population to the nearby Melito Porto Salvo. The town remained totally unhinabited from the mid-1960 to the 1980s, when it was partially restored and repopulated by volunteers from across Europe.
 
 
Col di Favilla. Col di Favilla, situated in Tuscany region close to Lucca, is an ancient village between the woods. This place was vivid since 1600, but a little bit more than 50 years ago due to not the most comfortable geographical position all the living souls abandoned it.
Houses, terraces and walls there were built from the local stone and the roofs – covered with slate. The main activities of the inhabitants, called colletorini, were grazing, the production of charcoal from wood, metal working, the extraction of tannin from chestnut for tanneries of Pisa and the stuffing of the chairs.
One of the most interesting objects there is a church of Sant’Anna madre della Madonna and the moss-covered bell tower, built in 1670.
 
 
 
Giarre. Even Italians by themselves call Giarre, Sicilian town located close to Catania, as the capital of “forever incomplete”. In this place there is the biggest number unfinished buildings per capita in the whole Italy. Some ghost projects: Amphitheatre with trade center in Trepunti, Municipal swimming pool, Polo horse stadium with 6000 seats, Parking Garage for 200 cars, Cinema, House hotel for the elderly, Palace of Congresses. And, that is just a part of all unfinished buildings there. But the most interesting fact is that Giarre exactly due to such feature attracts flows of tourists, wishing to see this famous incompleteness.
 
 
 
 
Argentiera. A former mining town Argentiera now is one more amazing ghost village on the list. Located in Sardinia, this place attracts quite many interested visitors. Since ancient times in this mine gold and silver was exploited, but after the World War II it declined as was closed. Even the name of Argentiera appeared from Italian word “argento”, that means “silver”.
Locals say that these rocks are hiding numbers of unreachable caves where lie the bones of dead miners. People there were buried alive so their souls till now stroll in neglected mines and surroundings.
 
 
Whant to visit ghost towns in Italy and searching for villa in surrounding areas? Check the best choices here.

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