Calcata is a comune and town in the Province of Viterbo in the Italian region Latium, located 47 kilometres north of Rome by car, overlooking the valley of Treja river.
In the 1930s, the hill towns’s fortified historic center was condemned by the government for fear that the volcanic cliffs the ancient community was built upon would collapse. Local residents moved to nearby Calcata Nuova. In the 1960s, the emptied historical centre began to be repopulated by artists and hippies who squatted in its medieval stone and masonry structures. Many of the squatters eventually purchased their homes, the government reversed its condemnation order, and the residents of what had become an artistic community began restoring the ancient town.
This trend has continued. Today the town has a thriving artistic community described in The New York Times as what “may be the grooviest village in Italy, home to a wacky community of about 100 artists, bohemians, aging hippies and New Age types. The historical centre now includes restaurants, cafes, and art galleries.
The Artisans of Calcata
The new artsy inhabitants squatted in the abandoned stone houses before buying them. They patched up potholes in the cobblestone alleys and transformed many of the caves under the village into subterranean homes. They opened art galleries, restaurants and cafes. And, finally, they successfully lobbied to have Calcata’s death sentence rescinded, convincing the government that the earlier assessment was wrong.
Francesco Carlino in his workshop. He make characteristic leather mask. Facebook adress: maschere di cuoio di carlino francesco
This woman is one of the first person who come to Calcata after the originals people of the city left this land.
She uses ceramic to make a lot of different handcrafts. The house where she lives placed in the central square of Calcata, when she arrived in her new home in calcata she discovered on the wall of one room an important fresco from XV century. She shows me the cave underground her home that in the past was a warehouse for the wine. She considers the handicraft the spirit of Calcata.
Gianni Macchia is an actor and painter. He possess a long carreer in the contemporaney art and cinema.