MONTESCAGLIOSO

Montescaglioso is an ancient centre with a beautiful panoramic position in the Brádano Valley and Jonic sea. It preserves a rich history and monuments able to impassion and involve its visitors.

History

The first presence of man dates back to the Iron Age. Here we mean indigenous settlements on the hills of Monte Scaglioso and in the Brádano Valley territory.

It was definitely a Lucani centre (VIII century BC), then Hellenistic with the arrival of the Greeks who founded Metaponto (VII century BC). Some finds of tombs, treasures and vases, both Lucani and Greek Magno, have been uncovered in the Portico, Pagliarone, Difesa S. Biagio and Sterpina localities.

The Romans knew it by the name of Civitas Severiana, and it was probably a Municipium during the I century BC. However, scarce information from the Imperial Age, makes one imagine a long period of decadence. In fact, the Romans diverted funds destined for the construction of roads towards Puglia and Calabria.

During the High Medieval period, it changed name to Mons Caveosus and later became a Byzantine stronghold (IX century) which also welcomed a Benedictine community who erected the magnificent Sant’Angelo Abbey, symbol of the present day City.

During 1043 it was conquered by the Normans and under the Swabians it was ruled directly by King Manfred, son of Emperor Frederick II.

Many feudatories followed, among which the; D’Avalos, Orsini, Loffredo, Grillo and Cattaneo.

During 1848 the peasant/farmer movement revolted, occupying state lands.

The population of Montescaglioso rose up against the Nazi hierarchy during 1943.

A visit to the City

The main monument of Montescaglioso is the Benedictine Abbey of Sant’Angelo which preserves Medieval frescoes in its interior. It also hosts a Ethnographic Collection and the Contadina Museum of Art.
The Santo Stefano Church, is also interesting with its beautiful Late Renaissance portal and the Matrice dei SS Apostoli and Pietro Church, which houses paintings from the Venetian School.

In 1925 in Montescaglioso, a telamon (a figure of a man used as a supporting column) was uncovered depicting the Greek hero Aiace (Ajax), which today is in the National Museum of Reggio Calabria.

Place of interest

The Benedictine Abbey of Sant’Angelo (1000); Matrix Church of SS Apostoli and Pietro (XV century); Santa Maria in Platea Church; Madonna della Grazie Church; Santo Stefano Church; Sant’Agostino Convent (‘400s).

Events

The Montese Carnival on Shrove Tuesday; Feast in honour of San Joseph on 19th March; Madonna della Nuova Procession on Easter Monday; Pilgrimage to the Madonna delle Murge on the 1st Sunday of May; Feast of the Patron Saint S. Rocco on 19th, 20th and 21st August; Festival of Pettole on 15th December.

MONTESCAGLIOSO
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