In the territories bordering Campania, near to Marsico Nuovo
and the road that descends from Potenza towards the Tirreno
Sea, is where the Medieval village of Brienza
is located in a panoramic position overlooking the valley
of the Pergola torrent.
The village appeared during Medieval history by the name
of Burguntia or Burgentia. It was founded as a fortified place
to control the valley where the Pergola runs. Burg in Longobard
During the VII century, the San Giacomo Benedictine Monastery
was erected and construction of the San Martino Church began.
In ‘851, after an agreement between Radelchi and Siconolfo,
Brienza became seat of a gastaldato (administrative ward)
and head of the Principality of Salerno.
With the arrival of the Norman (XI century), a Castle was
constructed together with some churches, among which, the
Santa Maria Assunta Church (XII century).
Frederick II of Swabia assigned Brienza to Gentile of Petruro.
Swabian defeat and rising Angioiniansan power, coincided for
Brienza with the assignment of power to various nobles, the
first being Rainaldo De Poncellis (1269). During the XV century,
the fief was sold to the powerful Caracciolo Family, who ruled
it until the abolition of feudal rights in 1806.
The XVII century saw the population’s participation
in the Popular Motions against the nobles and in 1651, a plague
epidemic decimated the population of the village.
In 1748, Francesco Mario Pagano was born here. He was a philosopher
and jurist of Republican beliefs, who paid with his life (Naples
1799) for his firm conviction and fight against feudal rights
and privileges given to the nobles.
A visit to the City
Brienza conserves an intact fascination of a Medieval village,
dominated from the summit of the hill by the Caracciolo Castle
and still visible town walls.
There are however, many gems of art which Brienza unveils
to the more interested visitor. Beginning with its churches:
the Assunta Church, built during the XI century, which conserves
a 16th century Deposition; San Zaccaria and San Michele the
Archangel, both Medieval; or the stupendous San Martino Church,
dating back to the High Medieval period (VII century). Then
there are the noble buildings and the monument in memory of
Francesco Mario Pagano in Piazza Municipio.
One must not forget a visit to Sasso di Castaldia, to admire
the Medieval Norman Castle and the Parochial of the Immacolata.
In the Pertosa locality, it’s possible for visitors
to enjoy a naturalistic excursion to the Grotte dell’Angelo
(Angel Grottos) which have illuminated paths.
Places of interest
Angioiniansan Castle (XI century; S. Maria Assunta Church
(XI-XII century); San Martino Church (VII-VIII century); San
Zaccaria Church (Medieval); S. Michele Arcangelo Church (Medieval);
Annunziata Church (1570); Mario Pagano monument (1784); Madonna
degli Angeli Church; Sasso di Castalda locality; Medieval
Castle; Angelo Grotto at Pertosa.