The Castle of the Conspiracy
municipality of Miglionico
(Province of Matera)
m. 476 s.l.m.
The history of Miglionico revolves around the Castle of Malconsiglio, built in the 8th-9th century as a fort and transformed into a noble residence in the 13th century. The imposing manor is immediately visible from the road and directs the visitor towards the old town, located on a hilltop between the Bradano and Basento rivers. The event that gave the castle its name and that still resonates in its rooms is the Barons’ Conspiracy of 1485 when the great feudal lords of the Kingdom of Naples plotted against King Ferdinand I of Aragon who opposed their excessive power. The king, pretending to negotiate peace, gathered all the barons in the hall of the castle and had them arrested and executed. Since then the castle, has been known as Malconsiglio or ‘ill advised’.
The borgo’s heart is Piazza del Popolo, to the north is the Convento district, which owes its name to the Convent and Church of San Francesco; to the west is the Sant’Angelo quarter and the Corleto palace, an ancient castle now in ruins; to the east, Torchiano looks towards San Giuliano Lake. On its shores, in 2006, the largest whale fossil in the world, 27 meters long, dating back to the Pleistocene was found.
Local specialty products include extra virgin olive oil, black pork, wine, and baked goods such as bread and taralli. The borgo’s most celebrated product, dried figs, has its own festival on the last Sunday of September.
- Hundreds of actors and figures take part in a historical re-enactment of the Barons’ Conspiracy of 1485 on 14th The events include arms, falconry and horse competitions.
- Religious festivities include the feast of the Holy Crucifix on 3 May, invoked in periods of drought and the patron saints Peter and Anthony on 29 June.
- The Festival of dried figs, the local product of excellence, last Sunday of September.