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Basilicata: the village of Viggianello, land of mountains, brooms and the Paddaccio cheese.

Wednesday 03 october 2018

The ancient village that belonged to the noble Sanseverino family, a land of brooms, churches, fountains and noble palaces, including simple and tasty dishes and the excellent Paddaccio del Pollino cheese.

Basilicata: the village of Viggianello, land of mountains, brooms and the Paddaccio cheese.

Caressed by the sparkling air of the Pollino massif, Viggianello is an ancient village situated on a suggestive rocky spur that dominates the valley of the Mercure, a river basin that stretches in the extreme south of Lucania, on the borders of the Calabrian lands.

Ancient fief of the noble family of Sanseverino, illustrious historical family of Norman descent of the Kingdom of Naples, Viggianello then belonged to the possessions of the monarchy of Spain to return to the Sanseverino, pass in the XVI century to the Della Ratta, originally from Barcelona, ​​then to the Bozzuto family and, at the end of the eighteenth century, join the canton of Lauria in the department of Crati. It became common in 1808, it was the theater of the various phases of the unification of Italy and a battleground between the Piedmontese army and the brigands.

The Byzantine and Norman footprint of the inhabited area, rich in artistic testimonies, is combined with the striking landscape and natural scenery.

Among the main churches there is the chapel of San Sebastiano, of Byzantine origin, with a wooden statue dedicated to the Blessed Stefano Seno, the mother church of Santa Caterina d'Alessandria, which houses, among others, paintings of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, stoups in white marble of the nineteenth century, a cycle of frescoes by Alfonso Metallo and a Madonna in stone of the sixteenth century, the church of Santa Maria della Grotta, with the white stone portal of the Renaissance, and the chapel of the Assumption wanted by the Sanseverino in the fifteenth century.

The castle dominates the village that combines many churches and noble palaces to the many churches and chapels, including the vast architectural complex of Palazzo De Filpo, the eighteenth-century Palazzo Caporale and the baroque Palazzo Marino. Portals made of worked stone and fountains enriched squares and alleys of the historic center where you can still breathe the pastoral and agricultural past of the village.

Among the most renowned centers of Basilicata also for the wealth of the gastronomic heritage, Viggianello, the country of brooms, offers a rich and varied table that goes from the first courses such as "Rappasciona", the mixture of cereals and legumes, and "Rafajuoli", the dumplings, the main courses and side dishes like the "Ciambotta", the peperonata, the "Rummulèddi", the meatballs, and the desserts including the "Cicirta", the struffoli, and the "Crispedd", the crepes.

Typical delicacy of the area, even if it is now produced in a few dairies, is the Paddaccio del Pollino, the sheep's and goat's milk cheese, processed manually, not subjected to maturing and not salted. With a slightly acidic taste it has a spherical shape, a padda, as it is said in the local dialect, it weighs about a half kilo and has a soft and creamy consistency. Without crust is soft pasta. Excellent if consumed with seasonal vegetables, with homemade bread and a good glass of light white wine.

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