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Tourism: visitors boom in the "unlucky" town near Matera

Tourism: visitor boom in "unlucky" town near Matera
Sogno di una notte a... Quel paese, Colobraro

Matera - Previously the name was mentioned unwillingly in a whisper, but recently Colobraro a small town in the Province of Matera, famous for bringing bad luck has become a tourist attraction visited by tens of thousands of people every summer. A bad reputation which for the seventh consecutive year has turned into an astonishing success story. After the many August holiday visitors, the numbers continue to rise. This years record was reached on Friday August 18, with over 3,000 people and no less than six performances in the old towns narrow streets.

"Sogno di una notte a quel paese" (perhaps "A Midsummer Nights Haunting"), the show which is performed every Tuesday and Friday until the first of September, in spite of superstition, is confirmed as one of Basilicatas prime tourist attractions. The event is revised and renewed each year, and offers four different routes that are all part of a single fantastical journey. The first phase takes place at the Palazzo delle Esposizioni Infopoint. Before entering the haunted hamlet, the public are provided with a "cingiok", a potent good luck charm that wards off the evil eye. Thus equipped, the public can enter the "Sogno di una notte a quel paese". The experience employs writings by the great anthropologist Ernesto De Martino, a specialist in the lore of Southern Italy.

The lanes and square of the ancient hamlet fill with eery presences, recounting local tales of witchcraft and spirits. Well worth the visit too is the special Museum theme itinerary inside the Palazzo delle Esposizioni. Along with the photographic exhibition called "With the Eyes of Memory", featuring photos by Franco Pinna, who accompanied De Martino on his travels in the local Lucania area, this year visitors can also admire various macabre paintings by renowned painters, including Carlo Levi, Jose' Ortega and Luigi Guerricchio. The visit to Colobraro concludes happily with an open air feast featuring local dishes and a small market selling local craftwork. A journey skirting the Magical and the Fantastical... not to be missed!