In the Valle del Basento, not too far from Potenza is where
one will find Cancellara, offering an interesting
stop for visitors through the beauty of its Medieval pearls
The origins of the village date back to the Longobard era,
although its territory was previously inhabited, as shown
by finds of a Necropolis in the “Serra del Carpine”
locality dating back to the VI century BC.
Its name possibly derives from the Latin Cancellatus referring
to the presumed function of a prison camp or to Canculi, meaning
wild animal traps.
The already fortified village passed firstly to the Normans
then the Swabians, and tried to reject the Guelph advance
commanded by the Angioiniansans in all of Italy (1268). The
new sovereigns gave it in fief to the De Beaumonts and over
the centuries it passed into the hands of the most powerful
families in the South: the Orisini del Balzo, the Caracciolo
and many others until 1775, when it passed to Benedetto Candida.
The population of Cancellara, joyfully welcomed Republican
ideals which were diffused in Italy by Napoleonic troops proclaiming
independence and planting a Freedom Tree in the Piazza (Square).
Then during the 19th century, Cancellara was seat of a Carbonara
Rivendita (Smaller city associations linked to the Carbonari
movement which promoted independent ideas) and adhered to
the Renaissance motions which took it to the end of the Bourbon
Reign of the Two Sicilies (1861).
Following this, there were numerous episodes of capture and
abuse of power attributable to the Brigandage phenomenon which
only terminated after 1880.
A visit to the City
Cancellara preserves an integral Medieval village town planning
structure dominated by the Castle which was constructed by
the Acquaviva of Aragona Family (1300). In the vicinity one
can visit the Sant’Antonio Church which preserves frescoes
from the XV century and the Chiesa Madre (Mother Church) dedicated
to S. Maria del Carmelo.
Other important religious buildings are: the Santa Caterina
D’Alessandria Church dating back to the Longobard era,
the San Rocco Church (XV century) and the San Francesco Church
Place of interest
The Medieval Castle; Matrix Church of S. Maria del Carmelo;
San Caterina D’Alessandria Church (VII century); SS
Annunziata Church and Convent (1604); S. Antonio Church; San
Francesco Church and Convent; S. Rocco Church (XV century);