historical information

Known as the Arab-Norman City, Tricarico is one of the most evocative centers in the province of Matera, rich in monuments and the protagonist of a thousand-year history that is intertwined, on the one hand, with the diocese of which it has been the seat since the century. X and, on the other, with the culture of the people who populated it. According to some scholars, the toponym could derive from the Greek "treis" (three) and from "akros" (peak, mountain) and therefore "city of the three mountains"; according to others, however, from the Greek "treis kari kora" or "treis kariaris" and, therefore, "city of the three graces" or "gracious city", still others associate it with the Latin "trigarium" or the place where the charioteers they trained with the triga (a cart pulled by three horses). The discovery of some tombs from the 6th century. BC, suggest that its foundation dates back to the pre-Roman era even if the first documented source records it as a Lombard city, including the gastaldato of Salerno (849) and seat of a diocese of the Greek rite (968), which then passed to the Latin rite (1060). It became an Arab stronghold between the 9th and 10th centuries. During the Byzantine domination, it became a "fortified city" and acquired greater importance with the advent of the Normans (1048). In the 15th century, Tricarico was enriched by the presence of a sizeable Jewish community and, in the 16th century. of an Albanian community, in conjunction with the presence, at the head of the fiefdom, of ERINA (or lrina) CASTRIOTA SCANDERBEG (niece of the Albanian hero Giorgio Castriota Scanderbeg) wife of Prince Pietro Antonio Sanseverino. In 1631 the fiefdom was purchased by Ippolito Revertera, Duke of Salandra, who on this occasion moved his residence from Miglionico to Tricarico, in the castle which has since been known as Palazzo Ducale. The Revertera held the fief until the suppression of feudalism. The presence, over the centuries, of Arab-Muslim, Jewish, Albanian populations, the patronage of the Sanseverino family and many bishops, the presence of a seminary and numerous convents, the constant relationships maintained with the local aristocracy and the Neapolitan environments have allowed to the city to hold an important position in the cultural and political panorama of Basilicata.

tourist route

The early medieval old town is reflected in an exemplary manner in the districts of Ràbata, Saracena, Civita, Piano and Monte. Islamic are: Ràbata and Saracen, characterized both by a main road (shari) and a multitude of secondary roads (darb) that intertwine with each other flowing into blind alleys (sucac). Behind the two districts we see orchards and terraced gardens, a remarkable example of Arab land ARID to cultivate. There are still traces of the massive city walls and the entrances to the city with the towers (Porta delle Beccarie, Porta Monte, Porta Fontana, Porta e Torre della Ràbata and Porta e Torre Saracena). Among the religious monuments of particular interest include the Cathedral dedicated to Santa Maria Assunta of the eleventh century, where, in 1383, was crowned king of Naples, Louis I of Anjou, the Church of Santa Chiara (XIV c.) and the Church of St. Francis of Assisi (XIV c.). The Norman tower (XI-XIV), twenty-seven meters high and with walls five feet thick above and beyond. It is interesting not only from the artistic point of view, but also a unique natural phenomenon: on its summit, whilst there is no wall around, if you put on the stone in the center of the surface, you can hear the voice booming as if you were in a cave. We can also admire the Palazzo Ducale (XIV-XVII) with the Archaeological Museum and the Bishop's Palace which houses the oldest historical diocese of Basilicata, the Lizzadri’s Palace, residence of the poet Laura Battista, the Arch of King Ladislas, decorated with basreliefs and surmounted by a statue of the Madonna and Child. Outside the old town you can visit the Convent of St. Anthony of Padua (1479), the Convent of Santa Maria del Carmine (1605) and the Church of St. Antonio Abate (XIV) with the tradition of "Maschere di Tricarico”. Moreover, in the woods of Fonti sources the Sanctuary of St. Maria delle Fonti of the thirteenth century. The historical and cultural events have made Tricarico a major center, so as to be the only city in Basilicata to be portrayed the prestigious work of G. Braun and F. Hogemberg "Theatrum Urbium Praecipuarum Mundi", published in Cologne in late 1500 and early 1600.


The territory of Tricarico is rich in archaeological. The fortified city of “Serra del Cedro”, in addition to the complexity of the road system and its considerable size (60 hectares), has strong similarities with the nearby historic centers of Croccia, Cognato e Serra Vaglio. The human presence at the center of Serra del Cedro dates from the sixth century. a.C. and continues until the end of the third century. a. C, the destruction was due to war that ended when Rome completed the conquest of Magna Graecia, after destroying Taranto in 272 a.C. The fortified town of “Piano della Civita” with three belts walls, shows traces of occupation from the late fourth century. a.C. up to the age-Roman republican, old buildings that date from the acropolis: a Roman and Italic temple, visited by contacting the local headquarters of the Archaeological Service. After the default (around the first century a.C.), In the territory of Tricarico continued to live many farms, abandoned around the fourth or fifth century. d. C., during which a new cycle of urbanization that probably coincides with the development of the town of Tricarico. The settlement of “Calle” expands around the II - I century a.C. and lives up to the fifth century d.C. becoming a major spa, as well as a place known outside its region for the production of ceramics.

the woods

The territory of Tricarico has a surface area of ​​over 17,000 hectares, of which approximately 2,500 are woods. The largest is that of Tre Cancelli-Fonti, which extends for approximately 600 hectares where turkey oaks and downy oaks grow. The site, adjacent to the archaeological area of ​​Civita, has always been a destination for local and non-local visitors, attracted by the tranquility and the possibility of having a picnic in an area equipped with tables, benches and stone barbecues and a structure sports field with five-a-side football, basketball, volleyball and bowls fields with a path equipped with panoramic observation points. Another forest of notable importance is that of Mantenedra-Malcanale, with its 500 hectares it has a natural environment rich in conifers, cypresses and Aleppo and maritime pines. In this wood there is an important area for observing the red kite (Important Bird Area) and it is possible to use the trekking routes along which educational panels are placed. Other woods are those of Carbonara-Martone, Serra del Cedro and Calle San Marco. In Contrada Calle, in the Grottone area, lives an oak whose age is estimated at 625 years. Included in the natural monuments of the Region (Padri trees), it is 16 meters high with a trunk of over 6 meters in circumference. In the woods there is no shortage of edible mushrooms and toxic and poisonous species, such as amanita phalloides, virosa and verna, so maximum caution is recommended.


The paintings adorning many Churches and Convents of Tricarico you are the artist Pietro Antonio Ferro, who in 1600 contributed to the cultural development of the town. In the early seventeenth century, Tricarico knew, in fact, a period of urban splendor, due to the significant population growth and economic vitality and intellectual. Exceptional development took figurative art: the artist known frescoes preserved in the Church of Santa Chiara and the church of Santa Maria del Carmine. The Iron and later his sons, Charles and John, were able to develop a mature pictorial language that influenced the artistic landscape of the region during the first forty years of 1600. Tricarico is also known for giving birth to Rocco Scotellaro (1923 - 53), writer, poet and politician. Despite his humble origins, became the protagonist of the renewal of political life in the '40s and '50s and only twenty-three years he was Mayor of Tricarico, after liberation. Scotellaro has left its significant mark not only in the Italian literary scene with a "hundred poems - in the opinion of Eugenio Montale - remain among the most significant of our time." A literary journey dedicated to Scotellaro was prepared by the Pro Loco of Tricarico along the alleys of the old town, which allow the visitor to read the poems in the places that inspired the author. Another figure to remember is Mons. Raffaello delle Nocche, Bishop of the Diocese from 1922 to 1960. He devoted himself with intelligence and love the work of moral and material redemption of his people, founded in 1922, a religious congregation for women: the "Disciples of Jesus Eucharistic" now found in various parts of the world. Delle Nocche was, along with Scotellaro, a crucial part in the establishment of the civil hospital. He died November 25, 1960 and a museum was set up at the Convent of St. Anthony of Padua, where his room was reconstructed to witness what was his frugal lifestyle. A priest in the service of the poor and elderly was definitely Don Pancrazio Toscano (1883-1961) who, in order to offer a solid roof and a daily meal to the poor of the country, made in the then ruined Convent of S. Antonio da Padova, an orphanage and a school of hospitalization for the elderly and underprivileged. He is buried in the Chapel of the Rosary, built in front of the monument which he recovered.


The Carnival of Tricarico begins Dec. 17 at the feast of St. Anthony Abbot, when the country awakes to the sound of cheerful bells worn by masks Tricarico (in dialect 'L' Mash-r ") dressed up as cows and bulls . The dress of the cows is represented by heavy wool sweaters and long johns, a scarf tied at the waist and many colorful scarves tied around his neck, arms and legs while the Bulls blacks dresses and scarves of the same color or red. They all wear a wide brim hat with a veil covering the face, black and white cows to bulls. Accompanied by capomassaro from sottomassaro and cowboys, meet at dawn on the square in front of the Church of the Holy Hermit perform the   three rituals laps around the church and than, attend mass. When the masks come down in a country is like the traditional transhumance. The festivities last until the evening and are a great opportunity to eat sausages and brawn offered by citizens who receive the visit of the happy company. In the country of carnival songs resound to the Mardi Gras parade, but the closing is anticipated in the previous Sunday. Tricarico and her masks are part of the European Federation of Carnival Cities, a prestigious award for the town.  In the month of June Tricarico hosts the gathering of anthropological masks from all over Italy, an exciting party, full of joy, sounds and images, suitable for adults and children.


The cuisine offers products that are simple and wholesome as bread and cakes, fresh pasta and homemade sweets. A summer breakfast is made from stale bread just barely wet and seasoned with olive oil and fresh tomatoes (salt-water) while the "pancotto" with turnip greens or tomato sauce with onions and chili warms the winter dinners. The homemade pasta: "frizzùl" with sauce, or the "cafatìdd" with juice or turnip greens, the "r-cchijtèll" meat and sauce "laganìdd "with lentils. The kitchen is also enriched with the flavors of Arabs as "lagàne" (noodles) with bread and raisins, a pleasant meeting between sweet and salty. For the latter: meat of sheep, goat and pork baked or grilled and accompanied by onions, potatoes and peppers. Tricarico is also known for the production of cured meats, pecorino cheese and dairy products produced locally. Tasty soups are made from vegetables such as beans with chicory, fennel used alone or as an accompaniment to sausages, eaten at Easter time. And finally, pastries filled with a mixture of chickpeas and chocolate, "casatèdd", covered with local honey, the "sk'rpedd" (savory pancakes) for Christmas, and the "'p-zzlatèdd" Easter: Rustic with fresh cheese "tuma" and brawn, or dessert, ricotta, sugar and cinnamon; “taralli” ( with icing) and many others. Everything is served with local wines.

industrial zone

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c.da tre cancelli

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