Calabrian Ghost Town: Pentedattilo

July 8, 2014 / Places
Pentedattilo, calabria

Pentedattilo is a ghost town on Monte Calvario, a mountain which once looked like a hand. In fact, the name of the town comes from the Greek words penta and daktylos, meaning “five fingers”.

The town, originally a Greek colony in 640 BC, was dominated by many civilizations. In 1783, an earthquake severely damaged the town and many migrated to Melito Porto Salvo. The town was completely uninhabited from the mid-1960s until the 1980s when volunteers began to bring it back to life.

Pentedattilo Ghost Town
Incredible view of Pentedattilo

The intrigue of this town starts even before you enter the village. The Church of Candelora and its small square offer an impressive view of the hamlet. As you wander through the small alleys of this charming village, you feel almost frozen in time.

Steeple of St. Peter’s Church
Impressive view of the sea from Pentedattilo

And what would a ghost town be without its own haunting tale. Outside the village are the ruins of an ancient castle that was home to the Alberti family. It was here on the night of April 16th in 1686 that nearly the entire Alberti family was massacred due to on-going disputes between the Alberti and Abenavoli families.

Are you adventurous? Follow the rugged nature path to a lookout point and a rewarding view of Mount Etna.

Photo Credits:  Carmen Guarascio.
Final photo: Antonio Inuso, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.
Grazie infinite a tutti e due!


Cherrye Moore

by Cherrye Moore

Cherrye Moore is owner of My Bella Vita Travel, a boutique tour operator specializing in custom vacations and heritage tours in southern Italy. Join her in June or September for the Small Group Heritage Tour of Calabria – a unique small group tour that combines group travel with a private heritage tour, or in September for the Undiscovered Southern Calabria and Eastern Sicily Tour.


5 Responses to “Calabrian Ghost Town: Pentedattilo”

  1. I love that place. I have thousands of photos of every inch of it, lol. I am surprised artists havent found and claimed it as an art /artiginale center…anyway i like it the way it is. a few years ago i did a painting of one of the houses, looking down onto an old abandoned terrazza. Love abandoned places as you can imagine lives of the people who were there and escaped because they thought the FIST was going to close in on them. thanks for the memory.

    • Prego, Janice. I bet your painting there is amazing. I’m with you – it is pretty cool ‘as is.’

  2. Jim Lombardo

    Wonderful and concise article. My family is from Gasperina which I think is not too far away from Pentedattilo. I would like to reprint your article in our Italian Club newsletter in Lancaster, PA of course with credits. Do I have your permission?

  3. Anita Fiorini

    My father was from Benestare and said he could see Mt. Etna. I wonder if
    this is close to Pentedattilo. I correspond with Cherrye, she is so warm and
    friendly. She has a variety of information plus great recipes on her site.
    It is my dream to go to Calabria and meet her.

  4. You definitely open a door of desire… Your article is like a light kiss, then you pull away ever so gently leaving us wanting more. You could write so much more about this, please do.


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