Spectacular Drone Footage of an 8th-Century Italian Ghost Town

Stunning drone footage over an Italian ghost town that’s been plagued by tragedy has been filmed by the Dutch photography team Boys with Drones.

Sven van der Wal and Roman Robroek posted the stunning 4K footage of the Southern Italian town that dates all the way back to the eighth century.

The pair of camera operators spoke to PetaPixel about the equipment and methodology they use to film their videos.

“We use a DJI Air 2S drone to capture the footage, and we usually spend around 30-90 minutes to shoot each video,” explains Robroek.

The cool video flies through the ancient ruins of the town that’s located in the province of Matera. Because of the destination’s unique look, it has been the setting of many television series and movies, appearing in 2008’s Bond classic Quantum of Solace and 2004’s The Passion Of The Christ, by Mel Gibson.

Boys with Drones

Van der Wal and Robroek, both from the Netherlands, created Boys with Drones after Van der Wal, who is a professional videographer, and Roman, who is a professional photographer, wanted to combine their skills and create something for themselves.

The pair “use state of the art DJI equipment, experience, and a lot of enthusiasm,” to capture the spectacular videos.

“We are planning on visiting Austria soon, to capture some nature footage in the country, and we are planning on filming a series of some of the most stunning (abandoned) castles in Europe.”


Craco has a fascinating history. In the 1200s it served as a military outpost and due to its strategic location and the natural barrier of nearby hills, the building was later used as a fortress and prison.

The community went from about 450 inhabitants in the 13th century to a little over 2,500 by the 1500s.

However, the town sadly experienced tumultuous times in later centuries. Residents became struck down by the plague and the settlement later found itself caught in the conflict between the new republican movement and Italy’s old monarchy.

Many of Craco’s residents left the city between 1892 and 1922 for America due to poor agricultural conditions, landslides, earthquakes, and floods.

Its desertion accelerated during the 1960s when the town was hit by more landslides, while an earthquake in the 1980s left it completely abandoned.

Today, most of the original premises remain visible, and those hoping to get a glimpse of history for themselves can access the town via guided local tours.

For more work by Boys with Drones visit their YouTube and Instagram.