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THE VIRGIN, THE HARP, THE MUSIC

Viggiano, located along the western ridge of Alta Val d’Agri at an altitude of 1023 m asl, is a country strongly linked to its roots: the Marian cult and the double procession, every year, for the Black Virgin, from town to Holy Mountain and the other way around, the popular music tradition grew around the Viggianese harp craftsmanship, kept alive until today thanks to the School of Viggianese Popular Harp.


A territory with a great wealth of landscape

Part of the territory that extends around the town is included in the National Park “Appennino Lucano Val d'Agri-Lagonegrese” , in the IBA 141 Val d'Agri (Important Bird Areas) as well as in the two SCI areas (Site of Community Interest) "Monte della Madonna di Viggiano" and "Monte Caldarosa". These are the territories that cross the sacred and naturalistic itineraries of Viggiano, offering the hiker a great wealth of ecosystems and landscapes.







THE VIRGIN, THE HARP, THE MUSIC

Viggiano, located along the western ridge of Alta Val d’Agri at an altitude of 1023 m asl, is a country strongly linked to its roots: the Marian cult and the double procession, every year, for the Black Virgin, from town to Holy Mountain and the other way around, the popular music tradition grew around the Viggianese harp craftsmanship, kept alive until today thanks to the School of Viggianese Popular Harp. 




A territory with a great wealth of landscape

Part of the territory that extends around the town is included in the National Park “Appennino Lucano Val d'Agri-Lagonegrese” , in the IBA 141 Val d'Agri (Important Bird Areas) as well as in the two SCI areas (Site of Community Interest) "Monte della Madonna di Viggiano" and "Monte Caldarosa". These are the territories that cross the sacred and naturalistic itineraries of Viggiano, offering the hiker a great wealth of ecosystems and landscapes.


EXCURSIONS
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Religious Itineraries
Naturalist Itineraries
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THE MARIAN CULT

The origin of the Viggiano sanctuary dates back to the 11th century and is related to the fall of the ancient Grumentum. When the Saracens were about to reach the city, the statue of the Virgin was hidden on the summit of Monte di Viggiano. Here it remained for centuries, (while the inhabitants of the destroyed city formed their communities on the slopes of the surrounding mountains) until, according to the legend, some shepherds, intrigued by luminous phenomena observed on the top of the mountain, found the sacred statue, immediately transported to Viggiano and placed in the chapel of Santa Maria which later became the urban seat of the Sanctuary. Even the custom of transporting the statue of the Virgin from Viggiano to the mountain above derives by a miraculous phenomenon: the statue, at the end of the construction of the Chapel on the Mount, has been transported by an invisible force to Viggiano where the Mother Church was erected. But the following Sunday of May the Madonna rose and returned on the top of the mountain, as she would stay for a part of the year in the country and for a few months on the Sacro Monte. The pilgrimage is still carried out every year in two separate times. The first transport takes place on the first Sunday of May, with a solemn procession, which from the Basilica of Viggiano leads to the Sanctuary on the Sacro Monte, located about 12 km from the town. The second transport is on the first Sunday of September with a reverse route. Every year Viggiano welcomes thousands of believers, coming non only from neighboring countries honoring the Virgin with songs, dances, and preparation of candle and flowers belts.

THE MARIAN CULT

The origin of the Viggiano sanctuary dates back to the 11th century and is related to the fall of the ancient Grumentum. When the Saracens were about to reach the city, the statue of the Virgin was hidden on the summit of Monte di Viggiano. Here it remained for centuries, (while the inhabitants of the destroyed city formed their communities on the slopes of the surrounding mountains) until, according to the legend, some shepherds, intrigued by luminous phenomena observed on the top of the mountain, found the sacred statue, immediately transported to Viggiano and placed in the chapel of Santa Maria which later became the urban seat of the Sanctuary. Even the custom of transporting the statue of the Virgin from Viggiano to the mountain above derives by a miraculous phenomenon: the statue, at the end of the construction of the Chapel on the Mount, has been transported by an invisible force to Viggiano where the Mother Church was erected. But the following Sunday of May the Madonna rose and returned on the top of the mountain, as she would stay for a part of the year in the country and for a few months on the Sacro Monte. The pilgrimage is still carried out every year in two separate times. The first transport takes place on the first Sunday of May, with a solemn procession, which from the Basilica of Viggiano leads to the Sanctuary on the Sacro Monte, located about 12 km from the town. The second transport is on the first Sunday of September with a reverse route. Every year Viggiano welcomes thousands of believers, coming non only from neighboring countries honoring the Virgin with songs, dances, and preparation of candle and flowers belts.
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THE TERRITORY

The territory of Viggiano covers 89.03 sq. Km of the western part of the Alta Valle dell'Agri, included in the mountain belt of the Sellata-Volturino-Viggiano and Monti della Maddalena districts. It is characterized by the mountain ranges of the Sacro Monte di Viggiano (1725m asl, where the Madonna Sanctuary is located) and occupies the northern portion of the territory, constituting the part with the highest altitude. Along its slopes are the “Piana Bonocore” and the “Fontana dei Pastori” localities, an area between 1200/1400 (Ciucciusacco, plain Cancelli, Froncella, Pietracicuta) covered with extensive beech forests. From this area, closed to the north by the mountain crown of Monte Pilato, Monte Caldarosa, Monte Macio del Podano and Serra della Prima Croce, you could reach Monte Sant'Enoc (1476 m asl). The mountain crown, expression in several points of an aspiring morphology made of ridges and steep cliffs, extends in the wide and verdant plain, covered by coppice woods and crossed by the river Agri. The area is defined by the river basin of the Alli and Casale torrents, tributaries of the river Agri, that have shaped the riverbeds with suggestive erosions. The woods, which cover about 35% of the total area, consist mainly of various species of Turkey oaks, Quercus cerris L., Quercus delechampii, Quercus lanuginosa) and in the most humid places, poplar, willow and maple. Above 1000 m s.l.m. prevails the beech which is associated, in the most humid and cold places, the silver fir. The various naturalistic areas host also a rich fauna: the rare Apennine wolf, the fox, the hare, the hedgehog, the squirrel, the fallow deer and the wild boar; among the birds, the kite (brown and royal), the buzzard, the kestrel.

THE TERRITORY

The territory of Viggiano covers 89.03 sq. Km of the western part of the Alta Valle dell'Agri, included in the mountain belt of the Sellata-Volturino-Viggiano and Monti della Maddalena districts. It is characterized by the mountain ranges of the Sacro Monte di Viggiano (1725m asl, where the Madonna Sanctuary is located) and occupies the northern portion of the territory, constituting the part with the highest altitude. Along its slopes are the “Piana Bonocore” and the “Fontana dei Pastori” localities, an area between 1200/1400 (Ciucciusacco, plain Cancelli, Froncella, Pietracicuta) covered with extensive beech forests. From this area, closed to the north by the mountain crown of Monte Pilato, Monte Caldarosa, Monte Macio del Podano and Serra della Prima Croce, you could reach Monte Sant'Enoc (1476 m asl). The mountain crown, expression in several points of an aspiring morphology made of ridges and steep cliffs, extends in the wide and verdant plain, covered by coppice woods and crossed by the river Agri. The area is defined by the river basin of the Alli and Casale torrents, tributaries of the river Agri, that have shaped the riverbeds with suggestive erosions. The woods, which cover about 35% of the total area, consist mainly of various species of Turkey oaks, Quercus cerris L., Quercus delechampii, Quercus lanuginosa) and in the most humid places, poplar, willow and maple. Above 1000 m s.l.m. prevails the beech which is associated, in the most humid and cold places, the silver fir. The various naturalistic areas host also a rich fauna: the rare Apennine wolf, the fox, the hare, the hedgehog, the squirrel, the fallow deer and the wild boar; among the birds, the kite (brown and royal), the buzzard, the kestrel.
TOUR VIRTUALE
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Fontana dei Pastori                     TRATTO1
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Fontana dei Pastori                     TRATTO 2
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Fontana dei Pastori                     TRATTO 3
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Fontana dei Pastori                     TRATTO 4
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Santuario                                      TRATTO 5
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Foto Sferiche                                     360°
DRONE VIEWS
HOW TO ARRIVE

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HOW TO ARRIVE
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BY CAR - From North:
Salerno-Reggio Calabria A3 Highway, to Km 136 exit "Atena Lucana". Go along the SS 598 Fondovalle dell'Agri up to Km 36, exit and continue to the left on the SS 276 for 8.5 Km. Continue on the SP 54 for 0.6 Km.
 
BY CAR - From South:
State Road 106, exit Policoro-Scanzano junction. Go along the SS 598 Fondovalle dell'Agri, for 82 km, exit and continue to the left on the SS 276 for 8.5 km. Turn left on the SP 11 Bis for 1.5 km. Continue on the left on the SP 54 for 0.6 km.
 
A2 SA-RC HIGHWAY
EXIT: ATENA LUCANA        SS 598 VAL D’AGRI ROAD
FROM POTENZA
SS 407 SS 407 BASENTANA ROAD        SS 95 VARIANTE TITO - BRIENZA ROAD
FROM MATERA
SS 407 SS 407 BASENTANA ROAD       SCALO PISTICCI     SS 598 VAL D’AGRI ROAD
FROM TARANTO AND SIBARI
SS 106 SS 106 JONICA ROAD        SS 598 VAL D’AGRI ROAD
BY TRAIN
NEAREST STATIONS: POTENZA SALERNO 

BY PLANE
NEAREST AIRPORTS: NAPOLI BARI AVIOSUPERFICIE DI GRUMENTO 

BY BUS
LINES DIRECTED BY THE MAIN ITALIAN CITIES TO VAL D’AGRI
BY CAR - From North:
Salerno-Reggio Calabria A3 Highway, to Km 136 exit "Atena Lucana". Go along the SS 598 Fondovalle dell'Agri up to Km 36, exit and continue to the left on the SS 276 for 8.5 Km. Continue on the SP 54 for 0.6 Km.
 
BY CAR - From South:
State Road 106, exit Policoro-Scanzano junction. Go along the SS 598 Fondovalle dell'Agri, for 82 km, exit and continue to the left on the SS 276 for 8.5 km. Turn left on the SP 11 Bis for 1.5 km. Continue on the left on the SP 54 for 0.6 km.
 
 A2 SA-RC HIGHWAY
EXIT: ATENA LUCANA        SS 598 VAL D’AGRI ROAD
FROM POTENZA
SS 407 SS 407 BASENTANA ROAD        SS 95 VARIANTE TITO - BRIENZA ROAD
FROM MATERA
SS 407 SS 407 BASENTANA ROAD       SCALO PISTICCI     SS 598 VAL D’AGRI ROAD
FROM TARANTO AND SIBARI
SS 106 SS 106 JONICA ROAD        SS 598 VAL D’AGRI ROAD      
BY TRAIN
NEAREST STATIONS: POTENZA SALERNO 

BY PLANE
NEAREST AIRPORTS: NAPOLI BARI AVIOSUPERFICIE DI GRUMENTO 

BY BUS
LINES DIRECTED BY THE MAIN ITALIAN CITIES TO VAL D’AGRI
INFO
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Before starting...

hoose a path that is suitable for your experience, your physical preparation and the available time. Carefully study the area, obtaining maps of the paths that can be downloaded from the site (pdf-gpx-kml formats) or available at the information point of the Municipality of Viggiano. For difficult paths it is advisable to rely on a guide. Inquire about weather conditions. The Forestry Department recommends consulting the site www.meteomont.org, updated 24 hours a day. Choose suitable shoes such as hiking shoes, especially in case of a more demanding itinerary. Dressing comfortably and in layers is useful if the temperature changes.Take a first aid kit with you. Do not underestimate the fuel supply. Even the simplest excursions require some physical effort; it is advisable to have a good breakfast before going on the road and bring with you water and food in relation to the expected duration of the trip. It is better to inform someone about the destination, the route and the duration of the excursion. In case of emergency need, it will be easier to track you down. Remember to recharge your mobile phone, especially if you venture alone, which is strongly discouraged. The numbers to call in case of emergency are 118 (health assistance) and 1515 (Carabinieri - Environmental Emergency).
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During the excursion...

Follow the paths. Never venture out of the marked trails. Memorize points of reference to always have an idea of where you are. Especially if the path is steeply inclined, be careful not to damage those behind you with sudden movements or dropping stones. Keep the weather conditions under constant control, especially because of the sudden variability of mountain weather. Do not underestimate overcast and temperature drops, a storm might approach. In case of bad weather look for a shelter immediately, like a crevice or a cave. Absolutely avoid trees and streams, which attract lightning. Especially at high altitudes, do not underestimate the need for good acclimatization, which allows the body to gradually get used to the altitude and the relative lowering of pressure and the amount of oxygen. To avoid them it is necessary to proceed slowly, stopping if you feel tired.
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Recommendation on the environment:...

Remember that you are a guest of the mountain! It is essential to respect the silence of nature and to avoid shouts and loud noises that can disturb the local fauna. Bring your own waste home. Do not light fires outside the designated areas. In case of fire, immediately call 1515 (Carabinieri - Environmental Emergency) or 115 (Firemen).
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The collection of Mushrooms

It is not possible to search for mushrooms in the woods without the collection card. Collect only the known species that are surely edible. If you have doubts about the edibility of a harvested mushroom, do not consume it but keep it intact for classification in a Mycological Inspectorate. Do not collect, trample, spoil inedible mushrooms: these also play an important role in balancing the forest. Do not collect mushrooms that are too small, with a hat with a diameter of less than 3 cm or too mature, which must be left to allow them to spread the spores. 
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