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Venosa. The little town in Basilicata named after Venus 

By Monday, 27 May 2024 10:54

Venosa is one of Italy’s Most Beautiful Little Towns and it was called after the goddess Venus, to whom the Romans dedicated the colony.  

An ancient Jewish community

In the province of Potenza in the Basilicata region it is also the birthplace of the Roman poet Horace who was born here in 65 B.C. in what was then a Roman colony in a strategic position between Puglia and the historical region of Lucania.  From the IV century A.D. there was an important Jewish community in Venosa, as has been shown by the epigraphs, and the hypogeum complex that was used for burials and has many inscriptions in Greek, Latin and the Jewish alphabet.

Remains of baths and of an amphitheatre

The most important Roman archeological area is San Rocco and the most interesting remains are the baths and the amphitheater, as well those of many private houses. In the tepidarium it is possible to see some brick pillars and in the frigidarium there are mosaic floors with geometric patterns and aquatic animals.  The amphitheater could host 10,000 spectators and had an elliptical shape; the parts visible today include the perimeter and the walls in opus mixtus and opus reticulatus styles.

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The 15th-century Aragonese castle

One of Venosa's most important artistic and architectural treasures is the majestic Aragonese Castle built in the middle of the 15th-century by Duke Pirro del Balzo. On a similar layout to the Castelnuovo Castle in Naples, it was surrounded by a defensive moat and had a drawbridge and mighty cylindrical towers. In the 17th century it was turned into a noble residence, and today it is the Municipal Library and the Archaeological Museum. 

Venosa 1

Famous for its red Aglianico wine

Broad beans and chicory, fresh cheeses, lamb and honey are just some of the delicious gastronomic specialties to be enjoyed in Venosa, which is famous for its Roman archaeological park and magnificent castle. Without forgetting that Venosa is one of the municipalities in Basilicata that are home to the famous Aglianico del Vulture which is one of Italy’s great red wines.
For information: www.venosaturistica.com



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