Poggioreale is one of the most shocking places you’ll probably ever see in your life! It is a ghost town that sits in the center of western Sicily: it used to be a nice place since during the night between the 14th and 15th of January 1968 an earthquake completely devastated the area know as Valle del Belice (Belice Valley). Some small villages were severely devastated, among them Gibellina (we talked about it a few days ago), Salaparuta, Montevago and Poggioreale were so damaged that have been rebuilt from scratch in another place.
Gibellina is a small city of central Sicily, in the Province of Trapani, that was completely destroyed by an earthquake in 1968, known also as the Belice Valley’s earthquake.
The new city, Gibellina Nuova, was rebuilt some 20 km distant from the old one and it was designed by many of the most prominent artists and architects in Italy, even though the final result is a collection of different art and architectural pieces, with little relation to each other or to the local architecture.
Ruderi di Gibellina (as the ruins of the city are now referred to) remained just as it was after the earthquake, a ghost-town in the middle of nowhere.
The most remarkable part of the old city is an art piece from artist Alberto Burri, who preferred to work here instead of the new Gibellina and covered the entirety of the ruins with white concrete, preserving the shape of the buildings and the streetscape: he’s art piece is known as “Il Cretto”, which in italian means “the crack”, and, as you can see both from the picture above and from the satellite map below, it’s a really impressive monument!
Gibellina page from Wikipedia
Il Cretto by Burri from Archidose