PIETRAGALLA

Pietragalla is a locality in Alto Brádano, on the outskirts of Potenza. It is surrounded by three hills, namely La Terra, San Michele and La Serra.

History

The origins of the present day village is connected to around the X century, but the territory was already an active indigenous centre during the Iron Age, as demonstrated by finds on Mount Torretta.
During 1958, the remains of acropolises were discovered as well as a temple and the walls of an active city existing between the XI century BC and III century BC.

Its name seems to be derived from Pietro Cancellario, a Condottiere (mercenary leader) known as the “Gallo”, but another hypothesis suggests instead that it was named after the yellow tuff stones on its territory. It is more likely that its names derives from the Medieval word gualdus, meaning woods.

During Angioiniansan domination, Pietragalla was fief of the Menfridi family (1269), the Counts of Morconi and Lorenzo Anzaloris (1381).

During 1456 a disastrous earthquake destroyed Casalaspro but left Pietragalla almost intact, therefore allowing them to welcome the escaping inhabitants.

The fief then passed to the Zurlo family (1480), the Counts of Pacentro and the Orsini family, who amplified Palazzo Ducale.

In 1647 Pietragalla participated in popular motions against the Spanish government, together with Cancellara, Marsico Nuovo and Oppido Lucano.

In 1653 it was the Baron of Bisceglie, Francesco Melazzi, who acquired Pietragalla for 200 ducats. The village finally passed through a marriage line to the Acquaviva D’Aragona.

In 1861 it suffered attack by bands of brigands.

A visit to the City

The main architectonic structures in Pietragalla are Palazzo Ducale of the Acquaviva d’Aragona, which preserves in its interior paintings from the ‘700s, the San Nicola Church which was founded during the XIII century and restructured in Baroque form during the ‘700s.

The remains of the Medieval castle in the Casalaspro locality testify the huge wound that was caused by the earthquake of 1456.

A visit to Monte Torretta is also very interesting. Here testimonies have emerged regarding the ancient Lucano centre: a temple, walls and acropolises. The best finds are today exhibited in the Provincial Archaeological Museum of Potenza.

Place of interest

Palazzo Ducale (XV century); Medieval Castle; San Nicola Church (XII-XIII century, rebuilt during XVI century); Sant’Antonio Church; San Cataldo Church; Archaeological area of Monte Torretta; Grottoes scattered across the territory.

Events

Feast of Sant’Antonio Abate and the Festival of typical local products on 17th January; Feast of San Michele on 7th & 8th May; Feast of San Teodosio Martire on 10th May; Feast of the Madonna dell’Addolorata on the last Sunday in May; Feast of San Donato on 7th July; Feast of Sant’Antonio of Padua (S. Cataldo district) on 13th June; Feast of San Donato Vescovo and Martire on 7th August; Feast of the Madonna dell’Assunta on 14th & 15th August; Feast of San Rocco on 16th August.

PIETRAGALLA
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