Aliano, The Smallest Village Running to Become Italian Capital of Culture

Aliano, The Smallest Village Running to Become Italian Capital of Culture

Aliano and its houses (Ph: mastino70 flickr)

Aliano is a small village in the Basilicata region and is located atop "calanchi", which are deforested, sandy soiled, rocky hills. Over the town's history, many homes were lost to landslide resulting from deforestation.

Located about 56 mi from Matera is probably most famous for being the inspiration for the fictional town of Gagliano in Carlo Levi's book Christ Stopped at Eboli (Italian: Cristo si è fermato a Eboli). Published in 1945, it gives giving an account of his exile in 1935–36 in Aliano.
 
Aliano has its own dialect, "Alianese", and the population keep many old traditions. One particular example is that, during Carnevale (a catholic festival that takes place a few weeks before Easter) village men, dressed in paper mache masks, hats covered with streamers, wearing long underwear and cow bells, march down the town's main street, throwing flour at gathered crowds and making grunting noises.

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