What it is and where it is
Brienza is one of those small towns in Basilicata that still retain their oldest heart. So it is that when you explore it you are captured by the charm and aura of mystery of the medieval village gathered around a hill topped by the castle. The mighty building and the ancient settlement are practically abandoned, which makes them all the more evocative, coating them with a melancholy patina made poetic by the surrounding landscape of lush forests. And so it is that the imagination leaps back in time, when princes and princesses, parties and banquets were at home here. Everything fascinates and intrigues.
Why it is special
The atmosphere of the castle and village fascinates, intrigues and enraptures. Historically and architecturally, it is certainly one of the few villages in southern Italy to have preserved its original medieval architectural layout. Visiting the village is definitely an experience full of emotion; reaching the end of the castle will allow you to enjoy a wide view of the town of Brienza and the valley washed by two rivers. Not to mention that to get there you will have enjoyed a rich itinerary among churches, portals, palaces, alleys and panoramic views, including the town hall, a former convent from the 1200s.
Not to be missed
In August, the Medieval Days, a parade with more than 300 participants in medieval costume, enlivens the entire village with musical performances, medieval games and food and wine events that will introduce traditional dishes and the rich basket of typical products of Basilicata.
A bit of history
Brienza's most distinguished citizen is certainly Francesco Mario Pagano, a jurist, politician, philosopher and essayist born in Brienza in 1748. In the village, a few meters from the castle it is possible to visit what remains of his birthplace, in the center of the town, in front of the municipal building a bronze statue dedicated to him, inside the town hall a rich library with his manuscripts.
It seems that around the mid-1300s a noblewoman known as the White Lady lived in Brienza. Her story, as is often the case, is shrouded in legend. It is said that she was very beautiful and lived in the splendor of the Caracciolo castle, where she had hidden a chest filled with jewels, which only her handmaiden knew about. It was precisely these jewels, however, that were often admired by visitors who attended the lavish parties organized by the White Lady: in fact, it seems, she appeared there dressed only in jewelry. She mysteriously disappeared during a trip to Amantea, kidnapped by pirates....
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