Montescaglioso is an important historic and cultural known as the City of Monasteries for the presence of four monastic ensembles, among which stands out the Abbey of San Michele Arcangelo.
The first settlements in the territory of Montescaglioso date back to the VII century B.C. the entire area, closely linked to the city magnogreca Metaponto (founded by Greek settlers to half of the VII century B.C. in the vicinity of the mouth of the Bradano river), lives of intense exchanges and contacts with the Greek centers of the Ionic coast.
With the decadence of Metaponto in roman times and the progressive silting up of the port of the Greek city, Montescaglioso assumed an increasingly important role in the surrounding territory. It is likely that part of the population of Metaponto, forced to abandon the city and to disperse in the neighboring towns after siding with Hannibal in 207 BC, during the second Punic war, is transferred at Montescaglioso.
The Roman phase of the city belongs a mosaic that attests to the presence in Montescaglioso a republican judiciary and a large public building. A telamone in tuff coming from another public palace of Montescaglioso is conserved in the Museo nazionale della Magna Grecia di Reggio Calabria.
Become a Byzantine stronghold, after 1000 it was conquered by the Normans and welcomed an important Benedictine community with the Norman count Rodolfo Maccabeo. Following Frederick II assigned to Manfredi.
Under the Angevins and the Aragonese fief of various lords: del Balzo, d'Avalos, Orsini, Loffredo, Grillo and Cattaneo.
Since the beginning of the twentieth century the town experienced the presence of the Italian Socialist Party, respecting in this sense the tendency lucana that in the early years of the Twentieth Century saw take root ideals linked to the proletariat internationalism of Marxist.
In spite of the fascist regime, and despite the country stay with the lookout of the Navy, the activities of parties antifascists has always been active and this is evidenced by the fact that the announcement of the arrest of Benito Mussolini, which occurred on 25 July 1943, following the approval by the great council of fascism of the motion of censure proposed by Dino Grandi, the population of the country reacted with violent demonstrations against the podestà Francesco Locantore until, on 19 September, to his killing, although there were in the country the Canadian troops arrived that same day.
Immediately after the fall of the regime the political activity of the country shooting with force and returned to be felt those discontent present always in the minds of citizens, linked to usurpations of state owned lands and to the presence of the large landed estates with its relations of production based on abuse.
The Night of Cucibocca (January 5)
An ancient tradition that marks the end of the holidays and the christmas libations. A sort of initiation to teach children to overcome fear. The mysterious Cucibocca roam between the alleys of the town wearing a dark skirt and a "cappellaccio", the face unrecognizable behind a flowing beard of hemp. At the foot have a broken chain and in his hand a big needle with which threaten to sew the mouth to children, that curious about the approach. Better not cry.
The Carnival of Montese (4,11 and 13 February)
a parade of masks connected to ancient popular rites. The allegorical floats, made by young cartapestai montesi custodians of a secular tradition, animate the streets of the village. At midnight on Shrove Tuesday, when burned the puppet representing Carnevalone, you hear the forty chiming of Mother Church. The day after, hanging from a rope, the seven figures of Lent appear in the narrow streets of the village, to remember the Lenten obligations of good Christian: fasting, abstinence and penance.
The Carnevalone (13 February)
at the first lights of the dawn of the Shrove Tuesday begins the parade of traditional Carnevalone, a very ancient rite that has its roots in the agricultural-pastoral culture. The first to appear is 'u Fus, the Parca. Launches in road, by making it rotate in the earth, its melt of wood hooked to a rope, symbol of destiny: Do not be hit. Quaremma, wife of Carnevalone, is dressed in black as its six daughters, each of which represents one of the weeks of Lent. In Quaremma arm Carnevalicchio port, a puppet dressed in white, symbol of Easter. Closes the procession the old and tired Carnevalone that, in the back of a donkey, passes through the streets of the village, aware of his imminent death.
Village of Montescaglioso
Municipality of Montescaglioso
Province of Matera
Population: 9.940 montesi
Altitude centre: 352 m s.l.m.
the Municipality is part of:
Città dei sapori
Protected Natural Areas:
Park of the Rupestrian Churches of Matera
Via Cosimo Venezia 1 - Tel. +39 0835 2091
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