Saturday, May 3, 2008

Feeling Abandoned

On the genealogical quest to find one's ancestors one can't help but encounter the occasional bit of root-rot...sometimes of the village variety. So the story goes that this town survives 1,000 years then because of a long drought at the end of the last century two thirds of the town's population leaves to find a better life. It seems having the life force drained form it like a living being the whole town eventually starts falling apart and next thing you know the place is sliding down the mountain.
Go figure.

So here one of the family's ancestral homes makes it into the Top 10 Interesting Abandoned Places.

"Located from the Gulf of Taranto at the instep of the “boot” of Italy. This medieval town is typical of those in the area, built up with long undulating hills all around that allow for the farming of wheat and other crops. Craco can be dated back to 1060 when the land was in the ownership of Archbishop Arnaldo, Bishop of Tricarico."

"In 1891, the population of Craco stood at well over 2,000 people. Though there had been many problems, with poor agricultural conditions creating desperate times. Between 1892 and 1922 over 1,300 people moved from the town to North America. Poor farming was added to by earthquakes, landslides, and War - all of which contributed to this mass migration. Between 1959 and 1972 Craco was plagued by these landslides and quakes. "

See movies from family villages in Italy:

Old World, New World - Craco, in Basilicata, Italy
Generations - Airola, Campania, Italy
Santa Sophia d'Epiro - Italy
Sorrento, Italy - Coming Soon

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A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
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44 Baxter Street, NYC
Feeling Abandoned
The Pleasant Peasant

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