Melfi, in the province of Potenza, stands on a hill at the feet of Monte Vulture. What strikes the tourists is the Castle, which stands majestically on the hill.
There are no certain dates of the origins of the village and the theories concerning its birth are different. Dauni and Lucani were the first civilizations that settled in the territory. During the Roman era Melfi was in second place compared to the neighboring towns (the current Venosa and Rapolla), as these were located in a strategic point on the Via Appia, which was an important center of trade. It was after the fall of the Roman Empire, with the Normans, that the territory assumed a fundamental role, which erected the Castle. Later the territory came under the dominion of the Swabians.
Federico II of Swabia, after having brought Melfi and his castle back to its splendor, chose it as a summer residence to spend moments of leisure and where to practice one of its hobbies: falconry.
The city of Federico II is characterized by a unique wall in southern Italy, entirely surrounded by ancient Norman walls with watch towers. Among the six gates of the village, Porta Venosa is one of the best known, since it is the only one still in good condition and it was built on the ancient track towards Venosa and the Appian Way.
The Castle, built, in fact, by the Normans and enlarged by Federico II of Swabia, in whose rooms the Archaeological Museum is located, dominates the entire town. But the beauties of the village are several..
Melfi is a treasure trove of cultural and sacred beauties to be discovered, such as the rocky churches of Santa Margherita and Santa Lucia carved into the tuff, as well as the splendid cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta in the Byzantine Gothic style, with a coffered ceiling decorated in pure gold and the Diocesan Museum, inside the Bishop's Palace of Melfi in Piazza Duomo.
Typical of a banquet in the city of Melfi are: oil, wine, cheese and chestnuts, which bring unforgettable flavours, aromas and scents to the table.
The oil, with its strong flavour, is internationally appreciated because it is obtained from the variety of olives "Ogliarola del Vulture", grown on volcanic soil.
A triumph for the palate is the tasty "Marroncino di Melfi", a delicious large, round chestnut with a glossy brown colour, ideal for roasting chestnuts, which is very appreciated even when eaten fresh. A festival is also dedicated to it, the Sagra della Varola, which takes place every year in October.
The Aglianico Wine of Vulture Doc also finds in Melfi one of the main centers of production until it appears on the tables of Lucania with its purple color and strong but fruity, dry and harmonious scent.
ON THE TRAIN