APT Basilicata

APT Basilicata

Basilicata turistica

Peace in the Cloisters

Montescaglioso: Abbey of St. Michele Arcangelo

The abbey dates back to about the middle of the XI century, when some Benedictine monastic communities replaced the religious communities of Greek origin in many towns. In the late Middle Ages it fell into disgrace, so much that it had to be rebuilt at the end of the XV century. The core of the abbey can be found in the eastern cloister and the church, rebuilt by the Benedictine Congregation of St. Giustina from Padua. Over the centuries, the monks' intervention has gradually added new structural elements to the original construction, so there is a beautiful colonnade, several new buildings and wonderful fresco cycles made by the greatest artists in Basilicata. In 1784, when the monks left for Lecce, the abbey lost part of its works of art, library and archive. At the beginning of the XIX century, the monastery became property of the municipality.

Sant'Arcangelo: S. Maria di Orsoleo

The old monumental complex of Santa Maria d’Orsoleo, in the area of S. Arcangelo, overlooks the villages in the Agri Valley. In 1474 Earl Eligio della Marra had a monastery made for the Observants, including in it the old Church of S. Maria. We do not know exactly when the Church was built. The Monastery was revised in 1600, adding some new structures. It belonged to the Minor Observants. Its cloister shows several frescos dating from 1500; amongst them there is a composition representing the ‘Pietà del Cristo’. In the Church, in one of the sides of the Monastery, there are a carved altar and a wooden polychrome ceiling. The development of this Monastery was interrupted by some subversive laws after the Italian unification. These laws led to the abolition of all the religious orders and congregations. Recently this monumental complex has been widely restored, giving back its ancient splendour. In spite of the long lasting renovation, the habit of doing a religious pilgrimage to the Sanctuary on the 8th September of every year is still in use.

San Fele: Madonna di Pierno

The Pierno Sanctuary was built on a plateau at 960 metres on the level of the sea, at the foot of the mountain having the same name (1268 m), less than 10 km far from San Fele. The Mountain, characterised by beautiful karstic rocks, is covered with a thick wood of oaks and chestnut trees and is close to the S. Croce Mountain (1427 m), rich in water springs. The original chapel, having become too small because of the large turnout of believers, was enlarged between 1187 and 1197. The enlargements were in Romanesque-Norman style and were made under the direction of the architect Sarolo, the most famous architect at that time. He had been chosen by Giliberto di Balvano, who intended to make this place his family burial. Its facade is in Romanesque style and its portal has some mosaic decorations made with white stones and lava.

Rionero in Vulture - Monticchio: S. Michele’s Abbey

S. Michele’s Abbey was built in an extremely beautiful environment, where the green of thick vegetation surrounds two lakes, creating an enchanting scenographic effect. The Abbey, founded by Benedictines in the X century, has a very ancient tradition. It was built on a cave hollowed in tuff. Nearby some votive deposits of the IV-III centuries were found. The ‘Grotta dell’Angelo’, dedicated to S. Michele, was the place where the Italian-Greek monks, who lived in the area, used to gather for worship. Later on Benedictines settled in and had the Abbey built up and then they left it in 1456. After several ups and downs, the Abbey passed to the Capuchins, who founded a library and a woollen mill. This complex is composed of a Convent, with several floors, a Church of the XVIII century and S. Michele’s Chapel. A characteristic path goes through the thick woods and leads to the Abbey that, built on the Vulture Mountain side, overlooks the Lago Piccolo (Small Lake), being pleasantly at odds with the surrounding landscape.

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