In the midst of the Bradano and Basento Valleys, lying on
two panoramic hills, is where one will find the ancient centre
Its name derives from the Latin Cryptulae, meaning small
coves or grottoes which are scattered over the hills of the
habitation; local craftsmen utilise them as work areas for
pottery production. This type of production was already famous
during ancient times as demonstrated by finds carried out
in the surrounding territory.
A tomb from the Hellenistic age and Roman buildings brought
to light in the San Domenico locality, demonstrate that the
centre of ancient foundation.
It was probably a Roman fortified centre along the ancient
track of Via Appia (Appian Way).
The Longobard Prince Siconolfo ordered construction of the
defensive towers, first nucleus of the Castle (851).
During 1061, it was taken by the Norman Guglielmo Braccio
di Ferro and not long after, it was assigned to the Counts
Loffredo of Matera.
It was then a fief of the following families; Avanello, Marchesano,
Lauria, Monteforte, Orsini, Caracciolo, Spinelli and finally
In 1799 it adhered to Republican ideals by participating in
clashes against the feudal nobility.
A visit to the City
On the summit of one of the two hills of the village, one
can visit the Chiesa Madre of S. Luca and S. Guiliano, and
not too far away, the square tower from the ancient Castle
The San Rocco Church (XVI century), in the lower part of the
village, preserves a statue and wooden Choir.
An interesting and curious visit is that to the “Grotticelle”
(Small coves/grottos) of local craftsmen.
At 13 kilometres from Grottole, one can visit the 14th century
Sant’Antonio Sanctuary immersed in the green woods of
Place of interest
The Castle (841); Chiesa Madre of S.S. Luca and Giuliano;
S. Maria La Grotta or San Rocco Church (XVI century); S. Antonio
Sanctuary (12 kms, ‘300s).