Town in the province of Matera, situated between the rivers Bradano and Basento, on a plateau overlooking the valley of Basento, Bernalda has a relatively recent history, compared with its more famous district: Metaponto. Bernalda, in fact, began to develop around the year 1000 thousand and the name derives from Bernardino de Bernardo, landowner and secretary of the Aragonese court, and it is here that he had a castle built which became the residence of his family.
Metaponto, instead, is an ancient Greek town of the VII century B.C., home of the famous philosopher and mathematician Pythagoras. On the archaeological site there are still visible remains of the brilliant history of this colony of Magna Graecia: the town centre, the necropolis, the Antiquarian, the Roman Castrum (fort), the temples of Apollo Licio, Demetra, Hera and Aphrodite and its famous Palatine Tables, that all reflect the splendor of the ancient "polis" of Metapontum. At the National Museum of Metaponto are preserved and placed on display several artifacts unearthed during the recent excavations.
The major attractions of Bernalda, worth of mention are:
- the castle, situated overlooking the valley Basento, which features a square shaped building with three cylindrical towers at each corner;
- the Church of St. Bernardino of Siena, built in 1530 by the Duke de Bernardo, originally designed with a single nave, the building was enlarged and remodeled in later centuries;
- the Church of the Immaculate Conception, built in 1732 by the family Fischetti (also known as the Fischetti chapel);
- the XVI century Church of San Rocco, originally dedicated to San Filippo Neri;
- the Church of San Gaetano (XVII century);
- the Church of St. Anthony, built between 1615 and 1616, which houses a painting by the artist Cosimo Sampietro.