Tricarico

The outline of a 27 metres high, ancient Norman tower dominates the houses of the ancient village of Tricarico, first Lombard, then Saracen, Byzantine and finally Norman stronghold. From the top of the village, the convent of S. Chiara stands out from the horizon, immersed in spirituality. Its entrance is past the 12th century chapel of the Crucifix, which was entirely frescoed in the 17th century by a talented painter from Ferrandina, Pietro Antonio Ferro. Descending towards the town centre you reach the focal point for Tricarico citizens: Piazza Garibaldi, overlooked by the 13th century Chiesa di San Francesco and the Ducal Palace, boasting a double portal with the Pignatelli and Revertera coats of arms. Inside, two rooms decorated with wooden ceilings preserve precious eighteenth-century paintings. The Convento di San Antonio di Padova (convent) and the Chiesa and Convento del Carmine make the monumental heritage of the city even richer. The convent contains a nativity scene created by the renowned artist Maestro Franco Artese, which reproduces the districts of the Arab-Norman city and some rural life scenes. The Museo archeologico (archaeological museum) and the Museo diocesano are worth visiting.

www.comune.tricarico.mt.it

www.parcogallipolicognato.it

www.archeobasilicata.beniculturali.it

www.centrodocumentazionescotellaro.org

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Pomarico

The village, which was the birthplace of the mother of the musician and composer Antonio Vivaldi and today hosts an important music festival dedicated to him, stands on a very fertile territory rich in orchards, vineyards and olive groves. Its origins are certainly ancient, so much so that several archaeological finds from the Greek-Hellenistic age have been discovered in the surroundings. Several religious buildings, such as the Church of San Michele Arcangelo patron of the village, the Church of Sant'Antonio da Padova annexed to the ancient convent and the Church of San Rocco, all dating back to the Baroque period. Also noteworthy is the Palazzo Marchesale while, for nature lovers, an essential stop is the Manferrara wood, where it is possible to admire various species of flora and fauna, including the rare royal woodpecker.


Salandra

The village is dominated by the ruins of a castle dating back to the twelfth century, while in the historic centre there are several liturgical buildings, such as the sixteenth century Conventual Complex of the Reformed Fathers, with a spectacular cloister, today the seat of the Municipality, the annexed Church of Sant'Antonio, which contains works of exquisite workmanship such as a polyptych by Antonio Stabile, a work by Antonio Ferro and another by Simone da Firenze and the ancient Church della Trinità founded in the 10th century.


San Mauro Forte

San Mauro Forte stands on a hill in the valley of the Salandrella stream and is surrounded by olive groves, a resource of fundamental importance for the village known for its remarkable oil production, so much so that it has earned the nickname of City of oil. It has medieval origins, as evidenced by the conformation of the historic centre and the presence of the Norman tower, the only element that remains of the ancient Norman-Swabian castle, which was renovated by the Angevins.
Among the places of worship are the Church of Santa Maria Assunta located behind the tower, whose construction dates back to 1553 and which preserves a processional cross from the sixteenth century and a canvas from 1700, the Church of the Annunziata, which was built starting from the end of the fifteenth century by the Franciscans, together with the great Convent, the Church of San Rocco and the Chapel of Santa Maria del Rosario.
San Mauro Forte owes its fame to the Sagra dei campanacci, a festival of pagan origin linked to the cult of the land and the rites of transhumance that takes place during the Carnival period.


Stigliano

Stigliano stands on a ridge at about 900 meters above sea level which dominates all around and which represents the extreme northern limit of the Calanchi (badlands) area. From it, in fact, suggestive excursions can start to discover the nearby Bosco di Montepiano, eight hundred hectares covered with gigate specimens of columnar oaks up to thirty meters high, part of the Gallipoli Cognato Piccole Dolomiti Lucane park, in which the landscapes change radically with lush forests and sharp rocky peaks. In the inhabited center it is certainly worth visiting the Mother Church dedicated to the Assumption, whose original nucleus dates back to the seventeenth century even if it was built on a previous building. Inside it houses valuable works of art such as a 1520 polyptych by Simone da Firenze and a painting depicting Sant'Anna standing with the Madonna made at the beginning of the 15th century by a Neapolitan master who in his painting shows Nordic influences. Very impressive is also the eighteenth-century ashlar facade of the church of Sant'Antonio, founded together with the convent to which it belongs, in the late fifteenth century, which houses, among other artistic works, a Madonna and Child painted by Antonio Stabile in 1580.

www.comune.stigliano.mt.it

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www.angolodellamemoria.eu

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Montescaglioso

A town of great interest for its history and landscape, Montescaglioso hosts the splendid 7th-century Abbey of San Michele Arcangelo, considered one of the most significant monuments in Basilicata. Spread across three floors, with the lower level consisting of rock-hewn cellars, the building rises around the cloister. On the upper floor, the Abbey is covered in frescoes, dating from the 16th to the 17th century, including the cycle of paintings that decorate the library, depicting saints, philosophers and allegorical figures attributed to Girolamo Todisco. Part of the sculptures of the cloisters and the church were made by Altobello and Aurelio Persio. The church, covered in early 18th-century stuccoes, consists of a single large hall, with four frescoed chapels on each side and a dome bearing the emblem of the monastic congregation "Congregazione Monastica Cassinese". Within walking distance are the monastery of Sant'Agostino (15th century), the Capuchin Convent (17th century) and the SS Concezione Monastery (18th century), as well as several churches scattered around the old centre, whose highest point offers a magnificent view of the Bradano Valley and, in the distance, the Gulf of Taranto. Near the town, whose origina nucleus dates back to the 8th century BC, documented by numerous archaelogical findings, there are hundreds of typical cellars dug in the tufa to store wine. The nearby rock churches, located in the Murgia Park, date back to the 10th-11th century.

www.comune.montescaglioso.mt.it

www.prolocomontescaglioso.it

www.naturartebasilicata.it

www.parcomurgia.it

Le chiese rupestri di Montescaglioso

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Miglionico

Perched on top of a hill, the town of Miglionico is spreads around the outstanding Castello del Malconsiglio. The castle, dating back to the 8th- 9th- century, is flanked by six towers and overlooks the entire Bradano valley. The castle's name derives from the bloodthirsty cospiracy made by the barons of the Kingdom of Naples against King Ferdinand I of Aragon (1485). The voices of the main characters of such an epoch-making event - the Sanseverino, the Guevara, the Del Balzo, the Caracciolo and the Acquaviva, the   King Ferdinand I of Aragon and his son Alfonso - still echo across the Sala del Malconsiglio. The multumedia exhibition "Discovering the Baron's Cospiracy" guides visitors through the intricate story that took place inside the fortress. During the visit to the village, do not miss the Chiesa di Santa Maria Maggiore: the church houses precious works, including the polyptych, a masterpiece  by venetian artist Cima da Conegliano, the Crucifix by Padre Umile da Petralia Soprana and the pipe organ whone oldest part dates back to 1479.

www.malconsiglio.gov.it

www.basilicataextreme.it

www.nuovaatlandide.com

 

 


Montalbano Ionico

The town rises above the gullies, clayey formations that characterise the area with their particular morphology, making it unmistakable with a typical lunar landscape. Here in Montalbano there is the Regional Reserve of the Gullies, the largest in Basilicata and featuring geological rarities that make it unique in the world and of unrivalled scenic beauty. The Reserve also hosts many plant and animal species; in particular, different varieties of birds can be observed, so much so that the area is known throughout Europe as IBA Important Bird Area.
In the village, among the religious buildings, it is worth mentioning the Mother Church dedicated to Santa Maria dell’Episcopio, which underwent several renovations. Today its features an eighteenth-century style, but the original nucleus dates back to the sixteenth century; inside there is a frontal made of polychrome marble and dedicated to the patron saint of the city.
Also noteworthy are the Porta dell’orologio and Palazzo Cassano, which it is the seat of the Rondinelli civic library and once hosted the first meetings of the anti-Bourbon republicans.
Montalbano is also famous for the cultivation of citrus fruits and vegetables in the so-called gardens of Montalbano.


Irsina

Named Montepeloso until 1895, the town has ancient origins, as evindenced by the numerous archaelogical finds dating back to the Greek-Roman period, discovered along with an important rock settlement found at the entrance of the village. These findings were brought to light by Michele Janora, to whom the Archaelogical Museum of the city is dedicated. The village was backdrop to bloody battles between the Saracens,  Byzantines and Normans, and was elected bishop's seat in 1123. Within its turreted walls, the town offers noble palaces, portals and numerous exemples of valuable sacred building. In the cathedral, started in the 13th century, the statue of St. Euphemia stands out among wonderful polychrome marbles. The statue of the saint protector of the city is attributed to Mantegna.

www.comune.irsina.mt.it

www.irsina-arte.com

Il Museo Archeologico Civico "Michele Janora"

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Grottole

Grottole is one of the oldest villages in the region, so named for its grotticelle, the grottos that are still used today to work clay, creating vases, jugs and other handicraft tools.
A little detached from the inhabited centre on the Motta hill stands the feudal castle, characterised by different environments, some still well preserved.
In the historic centre it is possible to admire the remains of the so-called Diruta church, never completely built, dedicated to Saints Luca and Giuliano. Not to be missed is the Mother Church of Santa Maria Maggiore, with the annexed former convent of the Dominican friars, the Church of Santa Maria la Grotta, rededicated to San Rocco, while on the top of the Altojanni plateau stands the Sanctuary of Sant'Antonio Abate, not far from the archaeological remains of a medieval city.