Rapolla is a centre on the north east slope
of Monte Vúlture, known for its wine production and
the presence of thermal springs on its territory.
Its birth came about by the hand of the Longobards who constructed
a fortress on the ruins of the ancient Roman Strapellum. During
968 it was assigned to Pandolfo, the Longobard Prince of Rapolla
and Conza. During 988 he accommodated Emperor Ottone II in
During the X century, Basilian monks arrived from Greece and
founded some Rupestrian churches on its territory.
The Normans arrived during the XI century and conquered Rapolla
(1042) shortly after Melfi. The troops of Lotario III ransacked
it during 1127 and 1163. It was then destroyed by the Normans
Under the Swabians construction of the Cathedral took place,
which was dedicated to the Assunta.
The arrival of the Angioiniansans during 1269 saw Rapolla
become a fief of Antonio de Capris. During 1301 it once again
became a state city and remained this way until 1414 when
it passed over to the powerful Caracciolo family.
In the ambit of the clash between the French and Spanish it
was besieged by Lautrec (1528).
It was then a fief of Filiberto Chalon, Prince of Orange (1530)
and during 1632 it returned to the Caracciolo family who ruled
Rapolla until the end of feudalism (1806).
A Roman sarcophagus was discovered in 1856, in the Alberopiano-Masseria
Caselli locality, dating back to the II century AD.
During 1861, the year of unification into the Reign of Italy,
Rapolla was a convinced Legitimist centre and supported the
Bourbon governor of Melfi.
Rapolla was often damaged by earthquakes during its history.
Two of most terrible ones that left there mark were those
of 1851 and 1930.
A visit to the City
Rapolla’s three Medieval churches are a major artistic
and architectonic patrimony: Assunta with its beautiful Romanesque
portal, San Biagio and Santa Lucia and the Baroque Crocifisso
Church containing frescoes from the ‘300s.
Archaeological testimonies have been uncovered on its territory
dating back to the Bronze and Iron Ages and the Roman Imperial
Visitors also enjoy Rapolla for the presence of well equipped
modern thermal baths.
Place of interest
The Assunta Cathedral (XIII century); Santa Lucia Church
(XI century); Crocifisso Church; San Biagio Church (‘200s
then later rebuilt); Remains of the Walls, Remains of the
Roman Acquaduct; Excursions to Monte Vúlture; San Michele
of Monticchio Abbey; Monticchio Lakes; A visit to Melfi; Barile,
Ginestra, Monticchio and Ripacandida.
Feast of Candelora on 2nd February, Feast of San Biagio on
3rd February; Corpus Domini Procession on 22nd June.