BERNALDA

At the very end of the Valle del Basento, in a panoramic position is where Bernalda is positioned between two rivers, the Bradano and Basento. It is not too far from the Jonic coast where Metaponto is located.

History

This centre has Medieval origins, but the territory where Bernalda was founded hosts Lucani and Greek settlements. Archaeological finds have identified an ancient centre not too distant from the modern habitation.
The City’s coat of arms strongly re-establishes ties through rural symbolism depicting an ox surrounded by ears of wheat.

The centre’s origins date back to around the X or XII century, when it assumed the name Camarda. It wasn’t until 1470, that it became known by its current name, being a contracted form of the feudatory Bernardino de Barnaudo, secretary to the Aragonese King. This feudatory saw the construction of the Castle in the village, which immediately became his family’s residence.

The fief was then sold to the Navarreta Family in 1609 and remained theirs until the end of feudal rights sanctioned by law by Giuseppe Bonaparte during 1806.

After a brief period characterised by the Republican motions and major figures during the Renaissance period under the Bourbon Reign of the Two Sicilies, Bernalda passed into the Reign of Italy in 1861.

The 20th century strengthened the City’s economy through tourism, both seaside and archaeological. Every year, the splendid Jonic beaches and Archaeological Park in Metapontino attract more and more visitors.

A visit to the City

The nucleus of a visit to Bernalda is Piazza Cavour where one can admire the majestic Aragonese Castle dating back to the XV century, which is positioned in front of the Chiesa Madre (Mother Church) dedicated to San Bernardino (XVI century). From here one can enjoy a beautiful panorama over the Valle del Basento.

The Sant’Antonio Convent, seat of the town hall, and the ancient San Donato Church (XI-XII century) complete the picture of architectural works in Bernalda.

Tourists also visit Bernalda for its close proximity to the splendid Jonic Coast, where they can enjoy clean waters and beaches that have been recognised by the Bandiera Blue over the last few years.

The Italo-American film director Francis Ford Coppola was born in Bernalda.

Places of interest

The Aragonese Castle (XV century); Chiesa Madre of San Bernardino (XVI century); Sant’Antonio Convent (XVII century); Chiesa San Donato (XI-XII century).

BERNALDA
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