Along the road which leads from Muro Lucano to Pescopagano,
is where one will find Castelgrande, once
known as Castel Grandine, situated in a panoramic position
on the southern slope of Monte Toppo.
Its name derives from the Latin Castrum Grandinis, being
the name given during the period following the fall of the
Monte Toppo, however, was inhabited since the Hellenistic
period (V century BC) due to its defensive merits and its
position which permitted easy observation of the surrounding
Not much is known about the High Medieval period, but the
place should have had logistical importance also during the
Longobard Reign, if it was given in fief during the Norman
period to the Counts of Balvano.
Under the Angioiniansans (1268), Castelgrande belonged to
Pietro Annibaldo and therefore the Sanseverino Family. After
this family it was was assigned to the following families:
Durazzo, Giovanni Pipino, Carlo Ruffo of Montalto (1394),
Carafa (1496), and the D’Anna Family who ruled it until
the suspension of Feudal Rights (1806).
During the XVII century, its population led by Matteo Cristiano,
participated in revolutionary motions against the Spanish
government (1647) as well as during 1799 adhering to Republican
ideals. But the Republic was overturned by Cardinal Fabrizio
Ruffo of Bagnara with help from an English fleet.
The Bourbons once again ascended to the throne of Naples.
It was only after the Renaissance experience that Castelgrande
was able to become part of the Reign of Italy (1861).
A devastating earthquake (1980) destroyed part of the village,
the Castle and Chiesa Madre (Mother Church).
A visit to the City
One can visit: the ruins of the Angioiniansan Castle in Castelgrande,
which was almost destroyed by an earthquake during 1980; the
remains of the town walls embellished by Porta San Giovanni
(Portal) and the Assunta Mother Church which preserves precious
18th century wooden statues.
At one kilometre outside the habitation is where one will
find the S. Maria of Constantinople Church, conserving works
of art from the XVI century. There are also two archaeological
areas in Castelgrande dating back to the Bronze Age and the
For lovers of nature, panoramic views and the stars, Monte
Toppo is an ideal place: it offers the possibility of naturalistic
walks through its woods, an enjoyable and unforgettable view
over Puglia and Irpinia and to carry out astronomical observations
in the National Observatory.
Place of interest
Ruins of the Angioiniansan Castle; Porta San Giovanni; Chiesa
Madre dell’Assunta; Santa Maria of Constantinople Sanctuary
(XIII century); Palazzo Cianci (XVII century); Monte Giano
archaeological area; Cannolicchio Archaeological Area; Astronomical