Rivello is located in that small portion
of Basilicata not too far from the Tyrrhenian Sea and is positioned
on the summit of three hills, Motta, Serra and Poggio in the
valley of the River Noce.
Rivello’s birth came about during the Longobard era
(VI century AD) as a fortification at the edges of the territories
of the Dukedom of Benevento.
Its former name was Revelia which derives from the Greek colony
of Velia Sul Tirreno, which in turn was inhabited by refugees
from Roman Cesariana.
The inhabitants of Velia, who were threatened by frequent
Saracen raids, took refuge towards the Basilicata inlands
and founded the new Velia. The inscription "Olim Velia,
Nunc Renovata Rivellum” (Once known as Velia, now rebuilt
as Rivello) is on the village’s coat of arms and façade
of the San Nicola Church, testifying this historical event.
During the X century there was confrontation between the Byzantines
and Longobards over a long span of time, so much so that both
Latin Roman and Greek Orthodox cults and rituals were affirmed
in the village. Basilian Monks also arrived during this period
from where they had been allocated in Puglia the previous
century after iconoclastic persecution practiced by the East.
The Greek ritual survived until 15th November 1572 when it
was suppressed in favour of the Latin one.
The arrival of the Normans (XI century) saw Rivello being
administered by neighbouring Lauria, which also kept its administrative
power under the Swabians (XIII century).
During 1268 the population lined up against the descent in
Italy of the Angioiniansans by participating in the Ghibelline
Rivello became independent by paying 33.000 ducats to the
feudatory, Ettore Pignatelli (1550), but the Royal Court resold
the village to Daniele Baraschiero (1641).
The will for autonomy took the population of Rivello once
more in the subsequent century to redeem the village by paying
55.000 ducats (6th January 1719).
Rivello was one of the centres which was mainly damaged by
the disastrous earthquake in 1980.
A visit to the City
Rivello is a striking village, both for its artistic patrimony
and its panoramic position on the surrounding territory.
One must not miss a visit to its churches: the S. Maria del
Poggio Church which preserves an interesting polyptych; the
S. Nicola Mother Church and an interesting Crypt; the Santa
Barbara Chapel containing Byzantine frescoes; the Sant’Antonio
Monastery with XVI century paintings.
Place of interest
The S. Antonio Convent with its XVI century cloister; S.
Nicola Mother Church; S. Maria del Poggio Church; S. Michele
dei Greci Church; S. Barbara Chapel; S. Maria del Popolo Chapel
(XI century); Annunciazione Chapel; A visit to Lauria, Lagonegro,
Maratea and Trecchina; Excursions to the Pollino National
The Archaeological Museum; S. Antonio Convent – Rivello.
Feast of Sant’Antonio of Padua on 13th June; Feast
of the Madonna del Popolo on the 1st Sunday of July; Feast
of the Madonna of Sovereto on the 2nd Sunday in July; Feast
of the Madonna Immacolata in the Rotale district on 13th August;
Feast of the Madonna dell’Assunta on 15th August; Feast
of the Madonna del Carmine in the San Costantino district
on 17th August; Feast of Santa Margherita Alacoque in the
Santa Margherita district on 21st August; Feast of the Madonna
della Motta on 15th September; Feast of San Nicola of Bari
on 6th December.