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.
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
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
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
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.
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.