Melfi (Basilicata): what to see


What to see in Melfi, itinerary to visit the historic center, including the castle and the rock church of Santa Margherita, as well as other churches and palaces.

Tourist information

A town among those in Basilicata with the largest number of inhabitants, Menfi is located at the foot of Monte Vulture and near the Ofanto river.

About the origins of the city, news is scarce, it is known for certain that in the past it was dominated by the Normans and the Swabians, Frederick II of Swabia established his court there, issuing the Constitutions of the Kingdom in the Castle of Melfi.

The period of greatest importance for the city's history was the medieval one, of which the overall aspect has been preserved.

The Castle of Melfi rises on top of the hill, placed in a dominant position with respect to the inhabited center, whose construction dates back to the time of the Normans.

Comprising ten towers, including seven rectangular and three pentagonal, the castle has four entrances, three of which date back to the Angevin era.

The historic center of Melfi is enclosed within walls, whose perimeter is over four kilometers long and on which 4 doors once opened, Porta Venosina, the only one left, dates back to the Swabian period.

What see

Palazzo Pastore, Palazzo Araneo, Palazzo Saverini and the Fontana del Bagno are among the buildings and fountains of the historic center.

Among the places of greatest interest is the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, to which the Bishop's Palace is annexed.

Built in 1076 on behalf of Roberto il Guiscardo, it has been damaged several times over the centuries by the various earthquakes that have occurred, each time it has been punctually restored but unfortunately has lost its original appearance.

The bell tower on the side, which dates back to 1153, has maintained the original Norman Romanesque style.

Recommended readings
  • Basilicata: Sunday day trips
  • Accettura (Basilicata): what to see
  • Pisticci (Basilicata): what to see
  • Melfi (Basilicata): what to see
  • Acerenza (Basilicata): what to see in the village

The church of Sant'Antonio, built in Romanesque and Gothic style, but also restored several times, preserves inside frescoes dating back to the period of its foundation.

In Melfi there are some rock churches carved out of the tuff stone, among which the rock church of Santo Spirito deserves to be seen, located at about 900 meters above sea level surrounded by the woods of Monte vulture.

The rupestrian church of Santa Margherita, excavated in the volcanic tuff and dating back to the 10th century, has a single nave interior, containing cycles of frescoes dating back to the 13th century and four side chapels.

The rupestrian church of the Madonna delle Spinelle, of which today only a circular chapel with a hemispherical dome remains, belonged to the early Christian basilica of Santo Stefano, a beautiful 12th century Madonna is preserved inside.

The rock church of Santa Lucia dei Giaconelli, located on the slopes of Monte Vulture, shows a masonry forepart, placed close to the original cave, with a single nave with a frescoed barrel vault.

A DUE PASSI - Melfi (November 2021)

Tags: Basilicata