CASTROVILLARI

On the border with Basilicata, not too distant from the Pollino National Park, is where one will come across Castrovillari at the foot of Mount Pollino, the second summit of the Calabrian Apennines.

History

Man quickly populated the hill of the Madonna of the Castle, where a sanctuary stood during the Iron Age (XII – VI century BC). But finds, both from Palaeolithic and Neolithic times have been found in the surrounding area.

During the Imperial Roman era, the territory was populated by Villae Rusticae, and swept away by barbaric invasions (V century AD), who pushed the inhabitants to shelter on the Hills of the Madonna, leading to fortification of the area.
Its name derives from the Byzantine Castrum and Bilaros, later changed to Castrum villarum (Villa fortress), then Castrivilla (XI sec.) and finally Castrovillari.

It was conquered by Robert Guiscard (1064) and occupied by Ruggero (1130), who further fortified it by erecting towers and town walls.

It was the Ghibellines during the revolt against the Angioinians (1268) and also rebels against the Aragonese (XV century), under whose domination the Castle was reconstructed (1490).

In 1519, Castrovillari was sold to Giovanbattista Spinelli, whose family remained in power until the end of feudalism (1806).
During the French Republic of Naples (1806-1815), it became an important administrative capital.

Castrovillari actively participated in the Renaissance unrest (1848) and the subsequently, which led to the Unity of Italy (1861).

It was bombed by the Anglo-American troops during the Second World War conflict (1943).

A visit to the City

Castrovillari is divided into two parts: the Ancient district of Civita and the more modern part linked by the Catena Bridge.

In the ancient part is where one will find the magnificent Castle, built by Paolo Giannitelli (1490), where nearby, one can visit the SS Trinità Church, containing remarkable canvases in its interior.

Climbing upwards to visit the Basilica, one can stop at the Medieval Church of S. Giuliana which preserves a wooden crucifix from the '600s in its interior.

The Basilica of S. Maria del Castello, erected during the XI century and rebuilt in 1363, can be visited on the spot where the Norman Castle once lay. The artistic patrimony preserved in its interior is remarkable: 14th century frescoes, '600s and '700s canvases from the Neapolitan school and a wooden crucifix from the '600s.

Place of interest

- La Chiesa di S. Maria del Castello (1090)
- Castello Aragonese (1490)
- Chiesa di S. Giuliano (1264)
- Chiesa delle Pentite o S. Antonio
- Convento di S. Francesco d'Assisi e Chiesa della SS. Trinità (1220)
- Chiesa di S. Francesco di Paola (ex Monastero delle Clarisse, 1562)
- Chiesa di S. Maria di Costantinopoli
- Cappella di S. Maria delle Grazie ('500)
- Chiesa di S. Vito (XVI sec.)
- Chiesa di S. Maria della Valle (XV sec.)
- Palazzo Gesualdi (XVI sec.)
- Palazzo Salituri alla Giudeca ('500)
- Palazzo Gallo (XVI sec.)
- Palazzo Cappelli (1777)
- Palazzo Rescia ('800)
- Palazzo Laghi (XVIII sec.)
- Palazzo Turco (XIX sec.)
- Palazzo Calvosa (XIX sec.)
- Palazzo Salituri (XIX)
- Ponte della Catena
- Grotte eremitiche (VII-VIII sec. d.C.)
- Monte Pollino
- Gola del Coscile
- Bosco di Pollinello

Museums

- Museo Archeologico di Castrovillari, Protoconvento Francescano, via San Francesco d'Assisi 1
- Museo civico, Palazzo Gallo, via Porta della Catena
- Sezione dell'Archivio di Stato
- Biblioteca Civica, Palazzo Gallo, corso Garibaldi
- Pinacoteca Comunale Andrea Alfano
- Museo d'arte sacra, Chiesa di San Giuliano
- Erbario del Parco

Events

- Festa di S. Giuliano con Sagra delle vecchiaredde il 27 gennaio
- Carnevale di Castrovillari
- Festa della Madonna del Castello dal 30 aprile al 3 maggio
- Ffiera di S. Giovanni Il 17 e il 18 giugno
- Festa della Madonna del Carmine il 14 luglio
- Festa campestre della Pietà il 14 e 15 agosto
- Festa di S. Rocco e Sagra della melanzana il 16 agosto
- Festa della Madonna degli Infermi e Sagra dell'uva ultima domenica di settembre
- Festival internazionale del folklore in agosto
- Festa dei SS. Medici il 26 settembre
- Manifestazione CIVITA…nova in settembre

CASTROVILLARI
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Calabria region of Italy

 

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