VIGGIANO

Viggiano is situated in a panoramic position in the Alta Val d'Agri and is a holiday centre which today is also known for the presence of Eni petrol plants.

History

Its territory comprises the Calvario summit and Castle and part of Mount Enoc.

It was a ancient Pagus of Grumentum, deriving its name from gentilitial Vibius.

After the end of the Roman Empire, the centre was fortified by the Longobards who guessed the strategic defence potentiality of the territory.

The IX century saw the arrival of Basilian Monks who established the Greek ritual cult.

The destruction of the Grumentum came about during the same period by the hands of the Saracens and its inhabitants took refuge in this area founding Byanum.

Under the Normans Viggiano was entrusted to Guglielmo de Tivelle and subsequently to Berengario de Giso (1167). The village passed over to the Swabians during the XIII century and took part in the Ghibelline revolts of 1268 which tended to contrast the Angioinians rise to power, who after victory entrusted Viaggiano to Roberto l'Enfant.
During 1277 it became the property of the Curia and shortly afterwards was assigned to Beltrando De Baume who kept until 1285, the year it became the fief of Giovanni Pipino.

Over the centuries, it was fife of the following families: Sanseverino, Del Balzo, Dentice (1400), Sangro (1633) and through marriage, it reached the lineage of the Loffredo family (second half of the XVIII century), Counts of Potenza.

Viggiano participated in the motions of 1799 which were linked to the birth of the Republic of Naples and then rebelled against the French during 1806.

Viggiano was also distinguished during the Carbonari motions (1820-21), as well as those of the Renaissance (1848) and Unitarian (1860) which led to the formation of the Reign of Italy (1861).
The area was gravely damaged during seismic activity in 1857.

Viggiano is well known for the construction of musical instruments and for its musicians who during the phase of mass emigration during the XIX and XX centuries, it became an involuntary ambassador throughout Europe and the world.

A visit to the City

Only some Castle ruins which remained standing after the earthquake of 1857 testify the ancient feudal power.

The City is embellished by the presence of low marble reliefs depicting musical instruments which appear in the doorways of the nobiliary buildings in its historical centre which remind one of the musical tradition of Viggiano.

The S. Maria del Deposito Basilica is also important and from September to May guards a Black statue of the Madonna in its interior. With a great procession on foot, the statue is transported to the Santuario (Sanctuary) del Monte on the first Sunday in May.

Whilst staying in Viggiano one can visit the ruins of Grumentum and discover the naturalistic beauty of Lake Pietra di Pertusillo and Mount Viggiano.

Place of interest

The Norman Castle ruins; Francescani Church; S, Maria of Gesù Convent (1478); Ruins of the Santa Maria La Preta Church; S. Benedetto Church (XVI century); San Sebastiano Church (XVII century); Sant'Antonio Abate Church (XVIII century); San Rocco Church (XIX century); Palazzo Sanfelice; Sant'Antonio Church (1542) in the Abate locality; S. Maria del Deposito Sanctuary; Monte Sanctuary; Pastori sul Monte Viaggiano Fountain; Acquafredda Fountain on Mount Viaggiano; Hellenistic Necropolis in the Serrone locality; Lake Pietra di Pertusillo; A visit to Montemurro; A visit to Grumentum; A visit to Moliterno.

Events

Feast in honour of the Madonna del Sacro Monte di Viggiano on the 1st Sunday in May; Feast in honour of the Madonna del Sacro Monte di Viggiano on the 1st Sunday in September; Grape Festival in the “Vigne” locality on the 1st Sunday in October; Fairs: 24th January; the last Saturday and Sunday in May, 10th August, 12th September and the first Sunday in October.

VIGGIANO
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Basilicata region of Italy

 

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