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Aliano

Trip Planner Europe  /  Italy  /  Basilicata  /  Province of Matera  /  Aliano
Aliano is a town and comune in the province of Matera and is located about 90km from Matera, in the Southern Italian region of Basilicata.Aliano 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.Like many towns in rural Italy it has suffered from migration to the cities and overseas where employment opportunities are better.GeographyAliano 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. In 1980 an earthquake shook the region destroyed or made uninhabitable many of the town's historic homes. Recent funding, partly from the European Union, has made renovations possible, and parts of the town's historic center are once again inhabitable.CultureAliano 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.Some believe that the significance of the custom was to exorcise evil spirits prior to lent.
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