Aliano Travel Guide

  • The
    The "Calanchi"
    by hquittner
  • Sheep Beware!
    Sheep Beware!
    by hquittner
  • My wife Carolyn meets Carlo Levi
    My wife Carolyn meets Carlo Levi
    by hquittner

Aliano Things to Do

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    Padre di Lenga(?) and peasant and helper 4 more images

    by hquittner Updated Nov 20, 2005

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    Aliano (population 1,750) is not a tourist town. The people are not curious about visitors. There are no shops to attract tourists ( or inns to house or feed them).An assembled crowd in the town square before the church is not being harangued by the Fascist Mayor as it was in C.L.'s book. But we did see a wood carrier with a donkey and wicker basket! (and meet the local Padre}.We peered down into the ravine and saw the remote part of town on a spur of land. There was a belvedere that looked out into the rough terrain (Fosse del Bersagliere-- of the Sharpshooter) and next to it the tarnished bronze bust of Levi himself (see our Introduction to Aliano).

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    House of Carlo Levi in exile (left half) 4 more images

    by hquittner Written Nov 19, 2005

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    When we were there the home was under "restoration" . It is a surprisingly large building by Aliano standards. Here he was "imprisoned". (He paid for his stay. Read the book). I think the house and the museum in an adjacent building are to become one unit. What we were able to enter was a small collection of artefacts relating to his stay and subsequent accomplishments. As to his paintings there were only posters of two exhibits of his work elsewhere. His paintings are in Matera. (See Things to Do in Matera under Palazzo Lanfranco) and elsewhere in the world. The museum contains a number of local curiosities of interest. It is a work in progress (They need more!). There is a fine bust of Carlo in the museum and another outside in the belvedere of the town.

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Aliano Local Customs

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    A Chat group 2 more images

    by hquittner Written Nov 20, 2005

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    Chat groups for pensioned seniors (mostly male ones) is a major part of life. In a poor community with only recent electrificaton, only a handful of television antennae (and 2 dishes) were visible. The electricity delivery must be modernly submerge because few wires were visible. Nobody had a cell phone. Street lights were present on the main road and in the newer part of town. (A computer or internet connection would be a large investment. By contrast , these things are abundant in Matera.

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Aliano Off The Beaten Path

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    Facade of W. Porch 4 more images

    by hquittner Written Nov 20, 2005

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    On a ridge in the middle of nowhere beyond anywhere sits the once upon a time cathedral of this name. It is "mentioned" in some guidebooks.It is located on a spur to the North , 10 km out of Policoro, on the road to Tursi. It housed a bishop from its creation in the late 11C until 1546 when he moved his seat to Tursi. Prehistoric man lived in caves nearby and it is said there is a town called "Troya" not visible to us) who believe they are the descended fromTurkish expatriates that Homer sings of. The simple W. front has a small campanile and a fine porch.Note the Lombard arches at the roof. Its arch is decorated with heads exactly like the ends of corbels under roofs of 11C Southern French churches. There are a few bas-reliefs and small columns as well. The building is of local dolomite and limestone and has been much restored in finer craft than originally and it was probably also modified in the 12 & 13 C. The porch has a barrel vault section and a groin vault section before the entry.Restoration is in progress (it has been going on for over a decade). The interior is a small classic Romanesque Italian 3-aisled colonnaded basilica with a flat trussed ceiling and blunted transepts. It has no columns from despoiled ruins but instead square piers without capitals and small clerestory windows.A lack of funds in such a place led to the use of mural painting in abundance, imitating the mosaic work in richer churches. This is Religious illustration writ large! There is no lighting, so my photography does not capture it all. Moreover, I am not adept at deciphering such things (and there is no literature available).The choir is slightly elevated and the apses are flat.

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