Aliano, Province of Matera, Basilicata

Located on a clay hill overlooking the Val d'Agri and the Sauro stream in the central-western part of the province, includes in its territory numerous gullies. It is the place where writer Carlo Levi spent his period of confinement during the Fascist era.


  • Altitude: 498 m a.s.l
  • Population: about 1000 inhabitants in 2011
  • Zip/postal code: 75010
  • Dialing Area Code: +39 0835
  • Patron Saint: St. Luigi Gonzaga, celebrated on 21 June
  • Frazioni & Localities: Alianello

History - Antiquity

The name of the village derives from the Latin Praedium Allianum, ie farm belonging to Allius. For its position near to rivers Agri and Sinni, since ancient times it was an important trade center among the Greeks, Etruscans and Italic peoples. Some sources speak of a village of shepherds existing at the time of Pyrrhus, in 280 BC.

History - The Middle Ages

In the 8th century the various caves in sedimentary alluvial rocks located in the ditch San Lorenzo, already inhabited in prehistoric times, housed many monks escaped from the iconoclastic persecutions in the East.

The earliest texts where Aliano is officially quoted date to 1060 AD, when a papal bull the administration of the village gave to the Bishop of Tricarico. In the Middle Ages Aliano was a fief of different families, including the Sanseverino, Carafa and the Colonna.


What to see

  • A necropolis dating back to the 7th-6th centuries BC, with more than a thousand tombs and many artifacts, which are now kept in the Siritide Museum at Policoro.
  • The church of San Luigi Gonzaga built in the 16th century, which preserves precious Byzantine paintings, dated 1500 - 1700, representing the Virgin with Child, and a silver cross of 1523 by Giovanni Perticara.
  • The sanctuary of the Madonna della Stella, a small church just outside the town.
  • The Museo della Civiltà Contadina (=Museum of Rural Life) located in an old mill, in which ancient frescoes and artifacts are preserved.
  • The History Museum Carlo Levi, which preserves photos and documents of the artist from Turin.

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Provinces of Basilicata
Basilicata region
Surnames in the Provinces of Basilicata