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.

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Le chiese rupestri di Montescaglioso

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