Not too far from Potenza, on a rocky spur, about 1000 metres
above sea level, is where one will find Abriola,
a panoramic village dominated by its Matrix Church.
Even though there is little information regarding the Medieval
period, it seems that the city was fortified by the Saracens,
who came from neighbouring Campania, during the IX century
and was later administered by the Saracen Bomar.
It was then surrendered to the Longobards in 907 and became
a Lordship assigned to the Longobard Sirifo.
The Swabians succeeded the Normans at the end of the XII century,
and transformed and amplified the Castle, as did the Angioinians
in the following century.
During the Angiò empire, it became a fief of various
powerful noble families in Southern Italy.
It was a fief of the Caimano of Capaccio and the Filangieri
family during the Medieval period and during the XVI century.
During Spanish domination, it became a fief of the Princes
of Orange, and therefore of the Sangro, Caracciolo and Federici
families; the latter being in power until the end of feudal
rights which was sanctioned through a law decreed by Giuseppe
Bonaparte who ascended to the throne of Naples in 1806.
In 1809 it was attacked and partially burnt by a band of brigands
led by Rocco Buonomo. The Castle was also attacked and the
Federici family were driven away.
During the Renaissance period, the village adhered to Republican
ideals and became seat of a Carbonara Rivendita (Smaller city
associations linked to the Carbonari movement which promoted
A visit to the City
Abriola immediately unveils its Arabic origins to the visitor
through its road layout and historical centre.
The remains of the Medieval Walls are still visible, as are
those of the Medieval Castle, represented by Renaissance portals
and a quadrangular tower.
The village is dominated by the Mother Church which preserves
a beautiful portal with stone arches, internal frescoes and
a wooden polychrome statue of the Madonna with Child.
The following completes the list of religious buildings: The
S.S. Annunziata Church, dating back to the late Medieval period,
containing noteworthy frescoes, the San Giuseppe and San Gerardo
Not to be missed: A visit to the Monteforte Sanctuary situated
on Mount Faone, around which the first nucleus began dating
back to the XII century and which preserves precious frescoes
from the XII, XIII and XIV centuries.
The patron saint of Abriola is San Valentino (Saint Valentine),
Protector of Lovers. His feast is celebrated on 14th February
in the village by the lighting of Fucanoi in the streets,
namely bonfires made up of dry broom tree branches, around
which the Abriola inhabitants sing popular songs accompanied
by piano organs.
In Winter, Abriola is also know as a touristic skiing centre,
thanks to the close proximity of ski facilities in the Passo
della Sellata and Pierfaone localites.
Places of Interest
The Mother Church of Santa Maria Maggiore (‘400);
the remains of the Castle; S. Gerardo Church; S.S. Annunziata
Church (late Medieval); S. Giuseppe Church; the Monteforte
Sanctuary (1.100 outside the City on Mount Pierfaone).
Feast of Saint Valentine on 14th February;
Automobile race Abriola-Sallata on 10th July;
Re-enactment of the historical attack by brigands on 23rd