ABRIOLA

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.

History

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 independent ideas).

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 Churches.

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).

Events

Feast of Saint Valentine on 14th February;
Automobile race Abriola-Sallata on 10th July;
Re-enactment of the historical attack by brigands on 23rd July.

ABRIOLA
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Basilicata region of Italy

 

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