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Comune di Colobraro
Coat of arms of Colobraro
Coat of arms
Location of Colobraro
Colobraro is located in Italy
Location of Colobraro in Italy
Colobraro is located in Basilicata
Colobraro (Basilicata)
Coordinates: 40°11′N 16°26′E / 40.183°N 16.433°E / 40.183; 16.433
ProvinceMatera (MT)
 • MayorAndrea Bernardo
 • Total66.61 km2 (25.72 sq mi)
630 m (2,070 ft)
 • Total1,203
 • Density18/km2 (47/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+2 (CEST)
Postal code
Dialing code0835
ISTAT code077006
Patron saintSt. Nicholas
Saint day7 May
WebsiteOfficial website

Colobraro (Lucano: Culuvrér) is a town and comune in the province of Matera, in the southern Italian region of Basilicata. The town is positioned on a high hill dominating the valley of river Sinni near the town of Valsinni.


Colobraro is located in southern Italy in the region of Basilicata. It is a part of the Province of Matera and is one the agricultural centers in the Sinni River valley. It is located on the southern slopes of Mount Calvario at a height of 630m. From this height, one can see the entire Ionian valley with gorgeous landscapes at sunrise and sunset. Colobraro is located near Highway 653 in the Sinni valley also known by the name of Sinnica and not far from the dam built on the Sinni river and Mount Cotugno. It borders the towns of Valsinni (MT), Tursi (MT), Rotondella (MT), Senise (PZ), Sant'Arcangelo (PZ), and Noepoli (PZ). Colobraro is about 80 km from the province's capital of Matera, and about 130 km from the region’s capital of Potenza.


The hamlet is known as the "village without name":[4][5] its name is considered bringer of bad luck in the towns around, where Colobraro is usually mentioned in the local dialects simply as chillu paese, cudd' puaise or chill' pais, all simply meaning "that village". This notoriety, which has in recent years spread all over Italy, began during the first decades of the 20th century and seems to have been sparked by a story concerning a famous lawyer from the town, Biagio Virgilio, who one day in court to stress a point exclaimed: "If what I say is false, may this chandelier come down". Alas, the chandelier did come down, and Virgilio became synonymous with bad omens, giving birth to the hex upon the town.

In the 50s, a “masciara” (a type of local sorceress) also got the reputation of being a witch, creating yet another myth thanks to her face lined with wrinkles. Probably, she was just a widow who dressed primarily in black. Since then, though, it has been a hive of “non è vero, ma ci credo” (it’s not true, but I believe).

Patron saint[edit]

The patron saint of Colobraro is St. Nicholas of Bari and is honored during the month of May. St. Nicholas of Bari, also known as St. Nicholas of Myra, St. Nicholas of Lorraine, and St. Nicholas Magno, is venerated as a saint by the Catholic Church, the Orthodox Church and several other Christian denominations. He was a Greek bishop of Myra (now Demre), a town of the Byzantine Empire in present-day Turkey. He is also known outside the Christian world because he has given rise to the myth of Santa Claus, known in Italian as Babbo Natale. His relics are preserved in Bari, Venice, Rimini, Saint-Nicolas-de-Port (France), Bucharest, Volos (Greece), and Cernomorets (Bulgaria).


  1. ^ "Superficie di Comuni Province e Regioni italiane al 9 ottobre 2011". Istat. Retrieved 16 March 2019.
  2. ^ "Popolazione Residente al 1° Gennaio 2018". Istat. Retrieved 16 March 2019.
  3. ^ All demographics and other statistics from the Italian statistical institute (Istat)
  4. ^ "Il paese che portasfortuna" (in Italian)
  5. ^ Colobraro Atlas Obscura (in English)