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It’s not that Southern Italy is abandoned, far from it. Just some pockets. Most people either went away in the migration waves of the last century towards the States, Germany etc or went to the North. I know a lot of people that studied in the north and just stay there because it is easier to find a job. Most of the industry is there, agriculture is a fraction of what it used to be, there is the mafia, the lower standards of living (both financial and cultural) etc etc.
You can find similar spots in Greece too, basically everywhere where people were forced to migrate due to poverty or even war.
Those are old stories, nowadays people are actually returning back and some of the abandoned places are reclaimed and transformed to tourist attractions, vacation homes, etc.