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.
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
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
Many feudatories followed, among which the; D’Avalos,
Orsini, Loffredo, Grillo and Cattaneo.
During 1848 the peasant/farmer movement revolted, occupying
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
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).
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.