A few kilometres from the Pollino National Park
and the Ionian coasts of Calabria, is where one will find
Oriolo, a small Medieval suburb not too distant
The present day suburb came about during the High Medieval
era, as a shelter for coastal inhabitants who were victims
of frequent Saracen raids (IX century).
The centre then appeared in some Papal documents (XI century)
and in a Swabian Court document referring to it by the name
The Normans besieged it and took possession of it under King
Under the Swabians, Oriolo was given in fief to Ruggero De
Amicis who, having participated in the conspiracy against
Frederick II, lost the fief. After being forgiven, the Emperor
gave power to his son Carrado De Amicis who ruled until the
arrival of the Angioinians (1269), who then gave the suburb
in fief to the Della Marra family, who ruled until the beginning
of the 15th century.
The Sanseverino family then came to power, but however lost
the fief through treason. Oriolo ended up as part of the Royal
Estate until 1414, the year of the citizens revolt, which
obtained the cessation of royal jurisdiction. Oriolo became
a Baronage and was once again entrusted to the Sanseverino
In the ambit of war between Carlo V and Francesco I, the suburb
was besieged by French troops.
The umpteenth betrayal by the Sanseverino family (1552), made
them lose the fief, which then passed to the Regia Camera
della Sommaria (an administrative, judicial and advisory body)
and was sold to Marcello Pignone (1558). The Pignone del Carretto
family ruled it for centuries, enduring onslaught by the citizens
of Oriolo who adhered to the popular motions linked to the
revolt of Masaniello (1647).
The 1693 earthquake, which had devastating effects on numerous
cities in Calabria, didn’t do much damage in Oriolo.
A visit to the City
The Castle, which was constructed by the Sanseverino family
in the XV century, dominates the Medieval suburb of Oriolo.
In reality, the existence of a defensive structure has been
confirmed, at least from the Byzantine era and for the entire
The structure is well preserved and contains cylindrical towers
which stick out from the surround rock.
One can visit the San Giorgio Church in Oriolo, of ancient
foundation and which preserves two statues in wood and marble
in its interior depicting the Madonna (‘500s).
The centre is ideal as a departure point for excursions to
the Pollino National Park and for exploring the neighbouring
territory of Basilicata.
Place of interest
- Castello Sanseverino (XV sec.)
- Chiesa di San Giorgio (XII sec.)
- Palazzo Santo Stefano (XVI sec.)
- Parco Nazionale del Pollino
- Visita di Amendolara
- Visita di Senise - Basilicata
- Visita di Rotondella
- Nessun Museo segnalato
- Festa di S. Giorgio Martire il 23 aprile
- Festa di S. Francesco da Paola il 24 aprile