Pietrapertosa and the Lucanian Dolomites

Pietrapertosa is a town in the province of Potenza located near the picturesque peaks of the Lucanian Dolomites, is part of the circuit of the most beautiful villages in Italy. Pietrapertosa shows itself as an ancient village that has managed to maintain its medieval appearance over time, especially in the oldest part located on the slopes of the Castle, which still retains the ancient Saracen name of "Arabat" characterized by narrow streets and dead ends. The typically single-family houses arranged in rows from top to bottom, adapt to the ground, and become an integral part of the surrounding environment so that the rock often assumes the function of the wall of the houses. Visiting Pietrapertosa one has the sensation that everything is regulated according to the rock, for example the numerous staircases, are an example of the symbiosis between the town, its inhabitants and the rock, the manifestation of living in its own territory that cannot deny the massive presence of nature, but must make it an integral part of the urban structure. Pietrapertosa takes its name from the ancient Petraperciata, i.e. "pierced" due to the presence of a cliff pierced from side to side, and is the highest town in Basilicata, with its 1088 m of altitude, it develops on the rocks of the Lucanian Dolomites, well protected from possible incursions from the valley. This character of natural fortress and the possibility to dominate the Basento valley have contributed to favour the presence of man since ancient times. The origins of the village are uncertain even if the most accredited theories attest a fortification, around the IV century B.C., by the Utiana tribe that occupied the upper and middle Basento valley. We have more certain news starting from the tenth century when the fortified village was occupied by a band of Saracens led by the chief Luca, a Greek who converted to Islam and carried out numerous raids in the neighboring towns until he was driven out.

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