Tramontano Castle of Matera

Castelli

The City Castle, whose construction began in the early 16th century at the behest of Count Giancarlo Tramontano, remained unfinished due to the Count’s death in 1515 at the hand of rebel vassals.
Precisely this “incompleteness” makes it particularly evocative and an ideal location for holding important cultural and musical events


Valsinni Castle

Castelli

Presumably built on a pre-existing Lombard fortification, in the early 11th century, it is one of the best preserved manors in the region.
“Suggestive in architecture and imposing in the fullness of forms, classic in the series of battlements and embrasures”. This is how Benedetto Croce defined the fortress of Valsinni in “Life of adventures, faith and passion, Isabella Morra and Diego Sandoval de Castro”, when he climbed the rugged cliff, in search of traces of the Petrarca-born poet. Today a national monument, the manor of Aragonese appearance houses works, documents and writings that testify to the existential events of Isabella di Morra. Some of her verses, posthumously written during the anguished imprisonment into which she was forced before her death at the hands of her brothers, still seem to resonate these events.


Malconsiglio castle in Miglionico

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Situated on a hilltop, the town of Miglionico develops around the imposing Malconsiglio Castle (8th-9th century AD) flanked by six towers, which dominates the entire Bradano valley. The name of the castle is linked to the bloody story of the conspiracy of the Barons of the Kingdom of Naples against King Ferdinand I of Aragon (1485). The voices of the protagonists of that momentous historical event – the Sanseverino, Guevara, Del Balzo, Caracciolo and Acquaviva, King Ferdinand I of Aragon himself and his son Alfonso – still echo in the “Sala del Malconsiglio” hall.  Thanks to the multimedia path “Discovering the Conspiracy of the Barons” visitors are guided through the story of the intricate event that took place inside the manor.


Lagopesole Castle

Castelli

This castle was usually used by the great Roman Emperor Frederick II as a stopover for haunting, one of his main passions; it is also famous for being the chosen headquarters of Manfredi, son of the Emperor, who was called Stupor Mundi (the “astonishment of the world”) by his contemporaries.

Perched on a small hill emerging from the Ofanto and Bradano rivers and overlooking Lagopesole village, this charming medieval castle has a rectangular design with two floors, and it is divided in two courtyards and one tower characterised, in the upper part, by a wall made of bossage, a typical feature of the Norman architecture.

The main courtyard is part of the enlargement work commissioned by Frederick II (1242) on the remains of previous Norman and Angevin buildings, and it includes also a wide tank and a big chapel. The chapel, built in the Romanesque style, distinguishes this splendid manor house from the other buildings attributed to Frederick II, being the only example of a place of worship as compared to the other castles dating back to the imperial period.

Even after the renovation works performed in the nineties, today the Lagopesole Castle still preserves the changes commissioned by Charles I, known also as Charles of Anjou. Used as a shelter by the Italian brigands led by Carmine Crocco in the nineteenth century, today the castle is an ideal location to host prestigious cultural events. A must-see attraction is the castle’s museum, where you can take a journey into the life of the Roman Emperor thanks to the multimedia “World of Frederick II” visitor experience and a multimedia show.

 

www.comune.avigliano.pz.it

www.federicoitineraridellostupore.it


The Norman Castle of Melfi

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This impressive Norman castle is the symbol of Melfi; its story is linked to that of important residents and leading figures who have inhabited, over the centuries, this charming village cradled at the foot of Mount Vulture.

Commissioned by Robert Guiscard, then enlarged by Frederick II, provided with new towers by Charles I and renovated by the members of the House of Caracciolo and the Doria family, today the Castle seems to be literally emerging from the hilltop. Visit the Castle of Melfi, here you will discover why it is considered as the most famous castle in Basilicata and one of the largest in the South of Italy.

Its impressive ten towers – seven with rectangular design and three with pentagonal design – will immediately catch the visitor’s eye. The castle has four entrances: three of them date back to the Angevins’ period and one, built by the Doria family, is linked to the village through a bridge that once was a drawbridge. Through the door you enter into the beautiful main courtyard, overlooked by the baronial palace and the family chapel.

On the ground floor of the castle you can visit the Archaeological Museum of Melfi, which houses an important collection of archaeological documents found in the area, while the clock tower keeps a splendid Roman sarcophagus, found in 1856 and known as the “Sarcophagus of Rapolla” because it was once kept in the square of Rapolla, a small village located in the Vulture area.

Once certainly owned by an important member of the highest class, it is an elegant artefact of Asian origin dating back to the second half of the 2nd century. The Sarcophagus’s lid depicts the deceased lying down.

www.federicoitineraridellostupore.it

 


The Castle of Venosa

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Built between 1460 and 1470 upon the ruins of a Romanesque cathedral, today this impressive castle dominates the historical centre of Venosa, birthplace of one of the greatest Roman poets – Horace. Today part of the castle houses the National Archaeological Museum.

The new fortress commissioned by the Duke of Pirro del Balzo was part of a urbanisation project to be developed around the village.

The castle has four cylindrical towers, located at each corner of the quadrangular plant, a deep moat and a large courtyard surrounded by a loggiato built in the Renaissance style.

From the loggiato you can enter the municipal library and two great halls, with vaults depicting allegorical symbols of the 18th century, while the entrance hall leads to the walkway.

Part of the gallery houses the National Archaeological Museum, which keeps several documents on the the town and its surroundings, dating back to the Roman period, Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages.

www.comune.venosa.pz.it