Home town of Albino Pierro, a Lucanian poet twice nominated for the Nobel Prize for literature, Tursi stands on a sandstone hill between the Agri and Sinni rivers. Pierro, in his verses in the Tursi dialect, has repeatedly praised its millennial beauty. To eternalise the poet’s memory the Albino Pierro Literary Park was created, managed by the Study Centre named after him, from which you can enjoy an impressive view of the gullies. Inside the Park, in the Pierrian Poetry Museum a permanent exhibition of paintings by Lucanian artists such as Nino Tricarico and Antonio Masini is set up. They were inspired in these works by the poems of the illustrious poet from Tursi.
The first ones to settle in the village of Tursi were the Saracens in the VIII-IX century. The place become a usual destination for the Arabs in the following periods. Famous is the district of Rabatana, from rabat (which means fortified village). Indeed, the district is characterised by a difficult access, like all districts of Arab origin, with steep alleys, winding steps leading to deep precipices, which Albino Pierro called Jaramme, and a tangle of houses made of stones and bricks. The Rabatana is dominated by the remains of an ancient castle dating back to the 6th century. Among the places of worship it is worth mentioning the Church of Santa Maria Maggiore from the 10th-11th century, built by the Basilian monks and hosting various artistic treasures such as a triptych on a table with stories from the life of Jesus, a stone stoup and a 16th century stone crib, the work of Altobello Persio.
Via a steep stairway, so-called “a pietrizze” the Rabatana is connected to the historic centre, which features numerous noble buildings such as the palaces Brancalasso, Latronico, De Giorgiis, Basile, Panevino and a number of places of worship. Worth a Visit are the Convent of the Capuchins, built in the sixteenth century, the Church of San Filippo Neri, of Baroque origin, the Church of Madonna delle Grazie, whose original layout dates back to the twelfth century but was remodelled during the seventeenth century, and the Cathedral of the Annunziata, originally built in the fifteenth century and completely rebuilt following a fire in 1988.
A little outside Tursi, about 11 km from the village, there is one of the most important artistic and religious place of Basilicata that should not be missed when visiting these places. It is the Sanctuary of Santa Maria di Anglona, a national monument since 1031. Built between the 11th and 13th centuries, it is a true jewel of medieval architecture and seems to have been built on the spot where the legendary Greek city Pandosia once stood, of which no trace remains today. A truly unique place, both for the beauty of the works of art kept inside and for the panoramic point where it was built.