From the beginning of the year Mille Montemurro began to write his story. History of industrious people who has managed over the centuries to make the town the center of economic reference not only for the surrounding area. The development of crafts and agriculture has walked in tandem with the cultural and spiritual growth of the village that architecturally has been enriched with churches and chapels, a sign of the solid faith that accompanied the daily life of its inhabitants. Few traces remain of that flourishing past, in some buildings or place names, but they are still valuable testimonies when we think of the many telluric movements suffered by the town that have risked losing everything. Gannano is the first ward that meets entering the southern part of the town.
Montemurro's historical-religious itinerary
Right at the entrance, to the right, the square named after St. Nicholas of Bari preserves a votive newsstand of the Saint painted on ceramics in memory of an ancient church named after him and which was most likely to have been built nearby. In the grid of adjacent alleys, a small area called Men's Square makes reference to the era of the first residential settlements when Gannano was the place of taverns (ganea hence the name) and this space was the meeting center. Returning to the stock we find the church of San Rocco built around 1694. Of importance are the artistic evidence consisting in the wall paintings made in the 1900s by montemurresi Pasquale Lotito and his son Antonio. It is the large oil painting depicting St. Rocco with their respective iconographic figures, St. Anne and St. Joseph, the apostles Peter, Paul and John all restored, together with the altar and the door of the tabernacle, by the artist Riccardo Maniscalco who added the cartouches and images of Saints of 1800s and 1900s. The church, in a single aisle, houses several statues including those of the Saint of Montpellier and the Holy Trinity. The image of San Rocco is also present on the exterior facade of the church painted on enamel pottery. From there, proceeding forward and heading on a short climb to the left, we arrive at Piazza IV November commonly called St. Mary's Square in memory of the Mother church collapsed in the landslide of 1842 named after Santa Maria Assunta. A votive aedicula depicting the Pietà holds the memory. It is placed on one side of the square while on the opposite side stands a column that is the monument dedicated to the fallen of all wars. Returning in corso Vittorio Emanuele lateral cross streets on the right placing in Via Valle to which south end hides the delightful church of St. Anthony Abbot whose namesake badia is mentioned in the acts of 1566. The chapel has only one aisle and the remains of the Imperatrice family's ancestors are laid inside. High up on the external facade there is the image of the Saint painted on maioliche.
Going up the aforementioned course, you divert left to via Valle where the Palace Marra stands out, in the 1800s seat of the insurrection committee that conspired in favor of the Unity of Italy. On the front a plaque resembles the names of the components. They were led by montemurrese Giacinto Albini (appointed by Garibaldi Governor of the Province of Basilicata with unlimited powers) to whom Montemurro wanted to dedicate the main square of the town placed at the end of viale Regina Elena. Here there is his bust that stands in front of what remains of a Dominican convent complex built on the ruins of the castellum Montis Murri dates back to 1068. Of the convent called of the SS. Annunziata, after several vicissitudes of natural and civil order that have succeeded over the centuries, remain part of the church of St. Dominic, presbytery, changel and sacristy that now relive in the new plant restored under the guidance of the Superintendence of Cultural and Architectural Heritage of Basilicata. Inside are the niches of St. Thomas D'Aquino, of Our Lady of Olives and of St. Peter Martyr, the sarcophagus of Baron D'Elia, some friezes, a rosette, part of the ancient floor and statues of St. Dominic and St. Vincent. Deconsecrated for some time now the church is site of a conference room and hosts the permanent exhibition "Montemurresi Painters of the 1500s and 1600s" curated by Anna Mollica, Tonino and Fabio Calvino. These are photographic reproductions of some of the works created by Sebastiano and Carlo Sellitto, Gian Giacomo and Anna Maria Manecchia whose art had a considerable following in Naples, city where their works are still visible. Athers their works are also located in some centres of Basilicata.
The road that at the end of viale Regina Elena climbs to the right leads to the church of Santa Maria del Carmine. Opened on July 15, 1922, the church a Latin cross has a single aisle and houses several statues between which that of Our Lady with Child and St. Lucia. Going back, before the intersection of Piazza G. Albini a climb introduces in the Concerie ward named after the thriving tanning activity of the skins active in past centuries. The typical processing technique, the "Montemurrese tanning", was also known outside the region. The ward is before a forecourt where we find the Mother Church named after Santa Maria Assunta with the adjoining Franciscan convent of St. Anthony of Padua. Both were built in 1635. The church has two aisles divided by arches. The main aisle shows an elevated presbytery placed on a glazed and colorful ceramic floor dating back to early 2000s. Equipped with a side bell tower, the image of St. Anthony of Padua painted on maioliche is on the wall above the main entrance. Inside it houses works including a large oil painting dated 1666 enclosed in a large gilded wooden frame depicting the Assumption of Our Lady between monks and St. Jerome; Baroque paintings attributed to Pietro Bardellino, a 17th-century wooden crucifix and several statues of Saints including st. George, patron saint of Montemurro, and Our Lady of Servigliano placed here for the months between September and May. The convent holds inside frescoes dating back to the second half of the 17th century depicting scenes from the life of St. Anthony and St. Francis. Since 1931 it has been the site of the parochial kindergarten and a white slab placed outside recalls its proponents.
Going down to Via De Fina you return to the intersection of Piazza "G. Albini" where on the right you go on course Leonardo Sinisgalli. At the halfway a crossbar on the right leads to another square very dear to the Montemurresi. It is St. James' Square named after the eponymous and ancient church that collapsed in the 1980 earthquake.
Moving away from the town, you arrive at the church of Santa Maria del Relief located in front of the cemetery. It is a massive brick building built on the aftermath of the 1857 earthquake at the behest of the faithful. Climbing another ten kilometers you reach the top of Mount Santo Iaso at almost 1300 meters above sea level. Here, in a large and open forecourt surrounded by a crown of mountains, rises the Shrine of Our Lady of Servigliano built by the Montemurresi in 1911. In the months between May and September the statue of Mary resides here and during this period it is also a place of camping.