Alan Granville / Stuff

Welcome to the Italian town of Colobraro.

The town seems like any other quaint Italian hamlet.

Situated on a high hill, it dominates the valley of river Sinni near the town of Valsinni, in southern Italy.

But this is a town that nearby villagers refuse to name; a place feared by locals; but a location loved by tourists. Welcome to Colobraro.

Colobraro sits on on a high hill dominating the valley of river Sinni.

COLOBRARO/FACEBOOK

Colobraro sits on on a high hill dominating the valley of river Sinni.

There are many legends and superstitions in these old walls.

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One says a verbose attorney, who had never lost a case, cried out one day in court: “​If what I say is false, may this chandelier come down”. It did.

Colobraro is a town and comune in the province of Matera, in the southern Italian region of Basilicata.

COLOBRARO/FACEBOOK

Colobraro is a town and comune in the province of Matera, in the southern Italian region of Basilicata.

No-one was hurt then but it didn’t harm the dubious reputation of Colobraro, the origin of its name is believed to be “coluber”, which means “serpent” in Latin.

Another story goes that an anthropologist visited the town to remove an “evil eye” – believed to be caused by other people’s bad thoughts.

He met a weather-worn woman believed to be a “masciara” – a type of local sorceress. But he and his team fell victim to mysterious accidents during their visit and it was thought that Colobraro was home to a witches’ lair.

Locals with an image of the infamous "masciara".

COLOBRARO/FACEBOOK

Locals with an image of the infamous “masciara”.

Other claims include mystery landslides and birth defects. It’s said that police will not issue speeding tickets to anyone trying to quickly escape the town.

But the reputation has had one beneficial side effect – tourism.

Residents organise an annual street show and festival “Dream of a night… in that village”.

Residents stage a festivals depicting the town's reputation.

COLOBRARO/FACEBOOK

Residents stage a festivals depicting the town’s reputation.

Performers tell tales of magic, sorcery, and star-crossed lovers along the streets and squares.

Tourists are encouraged to wear amulets to ward off any lingering spirits still walking the narrow streets.

Many doubt the stories, and blame on the infamous reputation on simple jealousy.

Biagio Virgilio, a town resident, told the Italian Tribune“Colobraro is a magical place, come here and you will understand why. It is perched atop the last hill before the sea and has a breathtaking panorama.

“There’s nothing of evil here. All these weird stories stem from a belief that we bring bad luck, but this is what other towns say because they have always envied us. And envy is always evil.”


 – Stuff



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