The old "Acheruntia" is situated on a steep plateau between the rivers Fiumarella and Bradano, in an area devoted to the cultivation of vineyards, mainly Aglianico. Finds dating from the VI-IV century B.C. evidence that there were settlements founded here already in ancient times. Artifacts such as: a bronze statue depicting Herakles, the god of Italic peoples, and a tomb of the VI century. In 318 B.C. the settlement was conquered by the Romans, that built a temple dedicated to Hercules Acheruntino. After the fall of the Roman Empire, the town submitted the rule of the Byzantine, and later it was ruled by the Lombards. In 1061 Robert the Guiscard conquered Acerenza and ordered the construction of the magnificent cathedral. It then passed to the Angevin and later to the Aragonese, that proclaimed the town fief and ceded the village to several local Lords and their families.
Not to miss:
- the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta and San Canio, which dates back to the XI century. Built in Romanesque-Cluniac style, inside the church features a basilica plan with three naves, separated by ten pillars, five on each side, which supporting an arched roof. The interior also proposes fragments of Roman columns, remains of a pagan temple dedicated to the god Hercules Acheruntino. The crypt houses the remains of San Canio. To enrich the heritage of the cathedral, inside are preserved frescoes by Giovanni Todisco, famous paintings and sculptures;
- the Church and Convent of St. Anthony of Padua, originally built in the Middle Ages and, today, dedicated to Mary Magdalene;
- the Church of the Annunciation, dating from the XIII century, with its pointed arched portal;
- the Church of San Laviero (also known as Purgatory), was originally a private chapel of Palazzo La Gala. It is enriched with splendid Baroque stucco decorations and a precious XVII century canvas;
- the XVIII century Church of San Vincenzo, adjacent to the castle, which features a single nave plan;
- the Church of Our Lady del Cupo, with a XIII century portal;
- several noble palaces (Palazzo Gala, Palazzo Saluzzi, Palazzo Caramuta, Palazzo Scipione Petruzzi);
- the XVI century Old Palace of the Parish, seat of the Archbishop until 1935;
- the Castle, of Lombard origins, was enlarged during the Norman and Swabian periods of domain.