In the middle of Val d’Agri, in the part nearest to
Campania, is where one will come across Grumento Nova,
positioned on an extended hill composed of three summits:
S. Michele, Castle and Chiesa Madre.
The present day habitation sprung up during the Medieval
period, not too far from the ruins of Grumentum, an ancient
centre which was destroyed by the Saracens during 975 or 1031.
Its name is an Osca derivation: grama (village) with a suffix
of the Greek oblique case entos.
The territory was inhabited since the VI century BC and became
an important fortified centre during the Sannitiche Wars (IV
century AD). After being conquered by Rome, along with the
rest of southern Italy (III century BC), the territory of
Grumentum was stage for various clashes with the Carthaginians:
during 215 BC, the Consul Tito Sempronio Longo defeated Annone
and in 207 BC, the Consul Claudio Nerone defeated Hannibal.
In the I century BC, it became a Municipium and during the
Imperial era an Episcopal seat (370).
The present day centre, sprung up again after destruction
with the name of Saponara, and was given by the Normans in
fief to Roberto d’Altavilla, who was already Count of
Montescaglioso. Due to rebellion against King Ruggiero II,
the fief was taken from his son and assigned to the Fasanella
With the Swabians (1246), history repeated itself and Emperor
Frederick II, took the fief away from Tommaso Fasanella, being
the culprit who participated in the conspiracy of Capaccio.
In 1254, it was assigned to the Sanseverino family who siding
with the Angioinians during the clash for power, had to endure
attacks from bands of Saracens sent by the Swabian King Manfred.
After a French victory (1267), the fief returned to the hands
of the Sanseverino family, who kept it until 1806.
Later on it took part in the Carbonari motions of 1820-21
and those of 1848.
An earthquake gravely damaged it during 1857 and after the
date of Unification into the Reign of Italy (1861), the village
had to endure the scars caused by the brigandage phenomenon.
During 1870, Grumentum Nova became the property of the Giliberti
A visit to the City
The village, which enjoys a panoramic position overlooking
Val d’Agri, preserves the ruins of the Sanseverino Castle
and offers the possibility to visit some interesting churches
like S. Antonino and the Rosario Church containing mosaics
in its interior.
Not too distant, one can dip into the distant past by visiting
the Grumentum Archaeological Park which preserves the remains
of an aqueduct, a theatre and amphitheatre, thermal baths
and a Roman forum, all set in a panoramic position on the
beautiful Pietra del Pertusillo Lake.
Place of interest
The San Severino Castle (XI century); Grumentum Archaeological
Park; S. Antonino Matrix Church (1561); Palazzo Giliberti;
Palazzo Caputi; Rosario Church (1658); Madonna di Pietà
Church; Madonna della Salute Church (1730); Clemenza Chapel
(XVI century); San Laviero Chapel (1504); Rupestrian Church
of S. Michele.