Family Origins

It Started in......!


Montemurro is a mountain village located in the Province of Potenza in the region of Lucania. It is located on the left slope of Val d’Agri. Currently, Montemurro is an agricultural center and holiday village situated in a beautiful panoramic position on the Pietra del Pertusillo Lake.

The village was reportedly founded by Saracens from North Africa in the 10th century. The initial population definitely included the refugees from the ancient city of Grumentum which was destroyed in 973 AD by the Saracens. The population of Grumentum included Roman Jews and native Lucanians who are said to have originated in Anatolia. Other Roman citizens likely came to Grumentum including Egyptians and Middle Easterners. Hannibal and the Carthaginian Army fought a battle at Grumentum and camped just outside the city gates for a decade or so while apparently maintaining a garrison there.

A mixing of the populations is a virtual certainty since the cityVillage of Montemurro was also friendly to the Carthaginians.
The Carthaginians were of Phoenician lineage originating in what later became Lebanon. Other Phoenicians settled in Greece and would have accompanied the Greek colonization of southern Italy as well. Grumentum was not Greek but there were many Greek colonies in the region and this must be considered a major founding element. Lombards must have also made a significant contribution. During the Byzantine period, and specifically in the 7th century AD there were immigrants to southern Italy from Macedonia, Syria, Palestine, and Egypt fleeing advances of the Slavs and the Moslems.
Later, there were Norman families (midway through the XI century), who were faithful to the Roman Pope. The new nobles, in fact, entrusted the Parish of Montemurro to the Bishop of Tricŕrico (1086), whose diocese remained in the village until the Swabians came into power (1194). Under the Angioiniansans (XIII century), Montemurro was a fief of the Sanseverino family and during the Aragonese era, of the Carafa family.

In 1857, the village was almost totally destroyed by a terrible earthquake, to which a landslide was added 50 years later. This forced many people to abandon the village circa 1907.

Other Points of Interest

The poet Leonardo Sinisgalli was born in Montemurro. 

On a visit to the City, one can visit the Sant’Antonio Monastery in the village, which preserves frescoes from the ‘600s in its interior, and the Assunta Mother Church which preserves canvases from the XVII century.

One can also visit the house of the poet Leonardo Sinisgalli, a native of Montemurro.

There are many possible excursions to the surrounding territory, to the Grumentum Archaeological Park and many other naturalistic walks offered by the presence of the Pietra del Pertusillo Lake.


The S. Antonio Monastery (1635); S. Maria Assunta Church (1442); Madonna del Soccorso Church; Extra moenia (outside the City walls) Sanctuary of the Madonna of Servigliano; San Domenico Tower; House of the poet Sinisgalli; Sepolcro Church; S.Rocco Church; Pietra Laccata Woods; Pietra del Pertusillo Lake; Grumentum Archaeological Site; Grumento Nova; Val D’Agri National Park.

Feast of Sant’Antonio Abate on 17th January; Feast of San Giorgio on 19th April, Feast of the Madonna of Servigliano on the 2nd Sunday in May; Feast of Sant’Antonio of Padua on 13th June ; Feast of the Madonna del Carmine on 16th June; Feast of San Rocco on 16th August; Feast of the Madonna of Servigliano on the 2nd Sunday in September.

Return to Main Menu Return to Main Page

Home ] It Started in....! ] Ariano Pulgia Irpino, Italy ] Montecalvo Irpino, Italy ] Flumeri, Italy ] Abruzzo, italy ] Jelsi-Molise,Italy ] Marsicovetere, Italy ] San Martino d'Agri, Italy ] [ Montemurro ] Galicia, Austria-Hungary ]