A stairs carved into the rock leads to the guard post of the military garrison which monitored the Valle del Basento.
 
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Castelmezzano

A hidden treasure in the rock
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Village of Castelmezzano
Municipality of Castelmezzano
Province of Potenza
Basilicata Region

Population: 792
Pop. foreign resident: 8

The Municipality is part of:
I Borghi più belli d'Italia

Protected natural areas:
Parco Gallipoli Cognato, Piccole Dolomiti Lucane

Municipality of Castelmezzano
Via Roma 28 - Castelmezzano (PZ)
Tel. +39 0971 986166

Located in the heart of the Dolomiti Lucane, perched and protected from these imposing massifs of the sandstone rock that the wind and the rain have unceasingly dug in the course of time, Castelmezzano reveals itself in a manner quite unusual.
To enter the country in fact we must pass through a tunnel dug in the rock, immediately after crossing a small groove. This spectacular location, was fundamental for the defense of the village in the course of the centuries, whose origin is given around the X century a.c.

The name derives from the Castrum Medianum (literally median castle) built here by the Normans between the XI and XIII century a.c., and is so called because of its position with respect to those of the neighboring centers of Pietrapertosa and Brindisi Montagna. Of the castle are still visible the remains of the walls, a tank for the collection of rain water and the stairs carved into the rock that allowed access to the highest lookout point, from where it was possible to monitor the whole valley of the river Basento. The urban structure of Castelmezzano, typically medieval, is a rare example of a sustainable balance between natural components and human intervention. The village is in fact as an agglomerate of concentric houses with roofs of sandstone embedded in a rocky basin: constructions are inserted directly in the rock. There are numerous steep stairs that open between the alleys and that invite you to climb to the peaks overhanging and enjoy the wonderful views of the Dolomiti Lucane. The heart of the city life is Caizzo Square at the center of which stands the mother church of Santa Maria dell'Olmo with its majestic facade in Romanic style. Outside the country, paths, stairways and bridges in stone allow to reach the valley of Caperrino, characterized by the remains of old mills, built in dry and whose roofs are made with slabs of local stone, said "chiang" in the local dialect. Castelmezzano falls with its territory in the area of the Park of Gallipoli Cognato Dolomiti Lucane that offers in addition to the pristine beauty of the landscape, the traces of a millenary history for the presence of the megalithic walls of the settlement, named Croccia Cognato, of the IV century b.c.

Castelmezzano is present in issue 5 of our digital magazine e-borghi travel.
Read it now!

Video by Riccardo Piazzalunga

Other destinations nearby

Campomaggiore
Campomaggiore
Visiting Campomaggiore means knowing two cities immersed in the nature of Basilicata.
Potenza - 2.89 KM from Castelmezzano
Pietrapertosa
Pietrapertosa
The village of Pietrapertosa has been founded in the VIII century B.C. on the Dolomiti Lucane, by the Pelasgians.
Potenza - 4.06 KM from Castelmezzano
Tricarico
Tricarico
Tricarico with its traditional carnival masks is located in Basilicata.
Matera - 11.57 KM from Castelmezzano
San Mauro Forte
San Mauro Forte
The village of San Mauro Forte is located in Basilicata and is famous for the Cowbells Feast.
Matera - 18.78 KM from Castelmezzano
Cirigliano
Cirigliano
The village of Cirigliano is located in Basilicata, in the historical region of Lucania.
Matera - 20.5 KM from Castelmezzano
Irsina
Irsina
Irsina is one of the oldest villages of Basilicata.
Matera - 27.05 KM from Castelmezzano

NOTE: distances are set as the crow flies.

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