CHIAROMONTE

On the summit which divides the Serrapótamo and Sinni Valleys, inside the Pollino National Park, is where Chiaromonte is located in a panoramic position. It is an ancient habitation rich in architectonic beauty just waiting to be discovered.

History

The first nucleus of Chiaromonte sprung up during the Iron Age and prospered until the VI century BC, when it began commercial and cultural contact with the Magna Greek colonies.

As part of Roman territory after the Sannitiche (Sanniti - Italica population from Sannio) Wars and those against the Greek colonies (IV-III century), Chiaromonte was destroyed by Crasso during the Servile War clashes (I century BC) led by Spartaco.

Its toponym derives from the Latin Clarus Mons, with reference to light which the place enjoys plenty of due to its geographic position.

After a sad period of destruction imputable to barbaric invasions (V century) and a brief Ostrogoth Reign (496-535), Chiaromonte, for an even shorter period, entered under domination by the Eastern Empire at the end of the Greek-Gothic war (535-553), then passed to Longobard ownership (end of the VI century).

During the IX century, the village was brought to the ground by a violent earthquake and had to await the arrival of the Norman conquerors to begin its re-construction.
Under the new nobles, it was given in fief to the Chiaromonte family and subsequently, during the Angioiniansan era (XIII century) to the Sanseverino-Bisignano family, who kept it for centuries.

Beginning with the XVI century and for the entire XVII century, the population was reduced due to frequent Plague epidemics.
It was only during the XVI century that it began to reassume some sort of form as testified by the rich city planning and construction of nobiliary buildings.

A visit to the City

Chiaromonte is a place which emanates fascination, thanks to its position which offers enjoyable panoramic views over the surrounding valleys and also thanks to the beauty of its still intact Medieval village.
In the older part of the City, the Medieval walls are still operative, along which open various doors; the Portello being of particular beauty and artistic interest as well as the oldest.

The San Giovanni Church, dating back to the XII-XIII century, is interesting. It preserves precious wooden sculptures in its interiors.
There are also many nobiliary buildings in the City which are dominated by the Sanseverino Castle: Dolcetti, Lauria, Donadio and Di Giura.

In the immediate vicinity of the village, one can visit the ruins of Certosa di Chiaromonte (1395), those of the S. Maria del Sagittario Abbey and the remains of the Cistercensi Convent.

For enthusiasts of ancient civilization, there are also three archaeological areas in Chiaromonte, dating back to the pre-Hellenistic and Hellenistic periods.

The visible coves positioned in the rocky walls are characteristic and today, are used to age wine.

Place of interest

Sanseverino Castle; Ruins of the Medieval Castle; Palazzo Di Giura; Walls and Medieval Doors; Palazzo Lauria; Fountains; S. Maria del Sagittario Abbey (XII century); S. Giovanni Battista (St. John the Baptist) Matrix Church; San Giovanni Church (XII-XIII century); S. Tommaso sul Catarozzolo Church (XIV century); Ventrile or Frida Convent; Certosa di Chiaromonte (1395); Calvario; Palazzo Sanseverino (1319); Palazzo Vescovile (1609); Palazzo Dolcetti (XVIII century); Palazzo Lauria (XVIII century); Palazzo Donadio (XVIII century); Palazzo Di Giura (XVIII century); Greek archaeological area in Battifarano-Tre Confini; archaeological area with a pre-Greek Necropolises in the S. Rocco locality; archaeological area with a pre-Greek Necropolises in the S. Pasquale locality; panoramic spots in Catarozzo; Tempa Angari; Spiga Tower.

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