Although the first archaeological finds date back to the VI and V centuries B.C., the town of Tricarico, in the province of Matera, flourished in the Lombard period, and only since 849, there is documented evidence of the presence of a fortified village, domain of Arabs and Byzantines. It became, later, part of the County of Norman family of Sanseverino, that retained the ownership of the fief continuously until 1605, when with the death of the last heir, it was ceded to the King of Naples, to cover the family's debts. The feud was then ceded to Francesco Pignatelli, Duke of Bisaccia, and later to Alessandro Ferrero of Genoa and, finally, to Ippolito Revertera.
Tricarico has one of the best preserved historic centers throughout Basilicata and its name derives from the Latin word "trigarium" (horse stables).
Not to miss:
- the archaeological sites of Serra del Cedro (a Lucano settlement, an Italic population of the region in the VI century), Piano della Civita (a Lucano settlement of the IV century), Calle and St. Agatha (Roman settlements);
- the tower and the Norman castle, built probably between the IX and X centuries as a fortress, with a sturdy tower tall 27 meters, at the highest point of the town. It submitted reinforcements in the Norman-Swabian period (centuries XI - XIII) in defense of Byzantine "kastron" of Tricarico. If the tower continued to play its military up to '600, the castle became, instead, in 1333, a prestigious convent of cloistered nuns, founded by Sveva, Countess of Tricarico and widow of Tommaso Sanseverino;
- the Palazzo Ducale, one of the most prestigious buildings of Tricarico, whose original setting, perhaps prior to the XV century, was greatly expanded in the subsequent centuries;
- the Cathedral of the Assumption, built by Robert Guiscard and in which, in 1383, was crowned king of Naples: Louis of Anjou. Its original Romanesque structure has been replaced by heavy Baroque alterations;
- the Convent of St. Francis, founded in 1314 by Tommaso Sanseverino and his wife Sveva and is one of the oldest in the region. The structures of the convent have been demolished or partially refurbished and the church was recently restored and dominates the town's centre with its imposing style and elegance;
- the Shrine of Our Lady of Sources, one of the major Marian shrines in the region, situated in between the woods of a forest, and realized where, according to tradition, a miraculous image of the Madonna and Child were found.