"Carpe diem, quam minimum credula postero" ("Seize the day, put very little trust in tomorrow")... The verses of Orazio echo in the streets of Venosa, the Lucanian town that gave birth to the famous Roman poet in 65 b.C. A few steps away from the town you can find the remains of the ancient Roman city whereas around the lanes of Venosa the visitor can go in search of the house that, according to the tradition, was the poet's.
A JOURNEY IN THE TOWN OF HORACE AND DON GESUALDO
Venosa tells also a story of music, passion and death: it is the story of Prince Gesualdo from Venosa, madrigal composer in the XVII century. He was forced to run away from Venosa because of having murdered his unfaithful wife Maria and her paramour.
There is also the story of the "unfinished", the XI century abbey that was meant to become huge but it is to this day only mysterious walls and a roof of stars. Venosa is a city able to tell stories to be listened to while drinking Aglianico del Vulture, exquisite Lucanian red wine that originates in these areas.
For all these reasons, Venosa is one of "The Most Beautiful Hamlets in Italy".
THREE GOOD REASONS TO VISIT VENOSA
1. A JOURNEY IN THE HISTORY
The first thing to see when you visit Venosa is the Castle of Pirro del Balzo (photo in the gallery), dated back to 1470, which is erected majesticly in the town centre and houses the National Archeological Museum.
Backwards in time, a few steps away from Venosa there is the beautiful abbey of Santissima Trinità, inside of which you can find precious frescoes and the remains of the Norman mercenary captain Roberto il Guiscardo. What is going to strike the visitor is undoubtedly what remains of the one called "L'Incompiuta" ("The unfinished"), located on the back of the abbey.
Building works, started in the XI century, aimed to complete the abbey with a huge apse and two large spans, but this never happened. Today the visitor can walk in the middle of the suggestive remains of this dream never fulfilled.
Other proofs of the holy in Venosa are the Christian catacomb of the IV century and the Jewish ones of the III-IV century.
By staying in the past, the Archeological Park shows the republican period of the city and, hidden among the town lanes, we can find out the house that, according to the tradition, was the Horace's one.
2. THE TASTE OF AGLIANICO
Venosa is one of the localities of Basilicata that are the birthplace of the famous Aglianico del Vulture, considered as one of the best italian red wines. This wine, the vine variety of which grows on the slopes and the valley of the extinct volcano Vulture, has a ruby garnet red that acquires orangish highlights with the ageing.
To the sense of smell it is possible to recognise notes of blackberry and wild plum, violet and strawberry; the ageing adds perfumes of liquorice, dark chocolate, black pepper. At the taste, the Aglianico del Vulture turns out to be full bodied, with a moderately tannic and fresh structure and with 12,5 -13,5 % alcohol.
3. DISCOVERING OUR FOREBEARS
Near Venosa it is possible to visit the Paleolithic Site of Notarchirico - one of the most ancient of Europe, dating back 600.000 years ago. Its importance is highlighted by the discovery, in 1985, of a human thigh-bone that probably belonged to a Homo erectus and it is one of the most ancient fossil remains of Europe.
The entrance ticket is combined with The Archeological Park, The Jewish Catacombs and the National Archeological Museum's ones.