Caracciolo Castle

Brienza, Italy

The first historical evidence of the Caracciolo Castle existence dates back to 1237. However, the origin of the stronghold is undoubtedly older, and historical research suggests that an initial form of fortification may have existed when the Lombard populations founded the first settlement on the hill in the 7th century.

Subsequently, ownership of the castle passed from the Angevins to the De Porcellis family, who administered it for a brief period before transferring it to a branch of the noble Caracciolo family, originally from Naples. In 1561, at the behest of Marcantonio Caracciolo, the main tower)was transformed into a prison, while the rest of the castle continued to serve as a residence. The Caracciolo family gradually expanded the castle and made it their permanent settlement. In 1783, Litterio Caracciolo enlarged and enriched the fortress with numerous works of art.

Following the earthquake of 1857, the fortress was in a state of abandonment, and Baron Barracco and his heirs lacked the financial means to initiate restoration work.

Caracciolo castle stands to the north on the steep hill of the town and is surrounded by two rivers, the Torrente Pergola and the Fiumicello. The castle, of medieval origin, has been modified and expanded several times throughout history.

Its current appearance is the result of a restoration following the earthquake of 1980. Currently, it is owned by the Municipality of Brienza, which is carrying out restoration work and an urban regeneration process that encompasses the entire medieval village below the fortress. Historically, both the village and the castle were part of the Principality of Citra until 1811 when they became part of the territory of the current Basilicata Region.


Your name


Founded: 12th century
Category: Castles and fortifications in Italy


4.5/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

gino vavalle (2 years ago)
The historic center of Brienza finds its natural fulcrum in the Caracciolo castle, characterized by the winding model. Starting from the manor, a myriad of houses and cottages emerge clinging to the steep rock. The ancient fortress, of Angevin origin, as can be seen from the cylindrical keep, which stands out from its imposing size, and from the circular semi-tower right in the center of the walls, is one of the jewels of Brienza. Of the Caracciolo castle, an open-air stone staircase is immediately evident, which leads to an embankment terrace right in front of the main entrance. According to an ancient tradition, the castle of Brienza consists of 365 rooms, one for each day of the year. The evening lighting gives the Caracciolo di Brienza castle an enchanting atmosphere that does not leave those who observe the fortress indifferent. In summer the fortress is transformed into a unique location, with a magical atmosphere.
Jackie (2 years ago)
Yesterday tour guide through the medieval village, the church and the castle of Brienza, with the proloco. (Reservation required) Beautiful visit, very well explained, so much to see. Congratulations to the proloco. Beautiful little village!
ROSA ANTONIA VIOLA (3 years ago)
Interesting afternoon of good humor and mystery... where will the noblewoman Bianca's treasure be? Legend has it that Bianca kept her treasure hidden in one of the rooms of the castle, the 366th. Her secret was jealously guarded by the faithful maid who still today tries to watch over the noblewoman's treasure.... The walk along the ruins of the old city disposes the mind and soul to a rare peace up to the deconsecrated church of San Martino where for a moment, aided by a decisive gust of wind, we were the "protagonists" of a scene from the famous film " When the wife goes on vacation" with a very nice Marilyn Monroe Lucana .. It's worth going just for the landscape and for Marilyn Lucana .. the guide, Cataldina, was very nice and helpful. Time passed quickly and we were also able to taste some delicious wild blackberries. Greetings to the ProLoco of Brienza which manages guided tours.
Friski AP (5 years ago)
The most beautiful castle I've ever been to
Marco Lopardo (6 years ago)
Historic castle in picturesque Brienza, in the heart of Basilicata. Thanks to the reconstruction and renovation of the crumbling ruins, it is now a must-see cultural place steeped in history. At the foot of the castle are the ruins of ancient Brienza where Mario Pagano was born and grew up. The renovation work is still in progress, but guided tours with trained staff take place regularly.
Powered by Google

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Topography of Terror

The Topography of Terror (Topographie des Terrors) is an outdoor and indoor history museum. It is located on Niederkirchnerstrasse, formerly Prinz-Albrecht-Strasse, on the site of buildings which during the Nazi regime from 1933 to 1945 were the headquarters of the Gestapo and the SS, the principal instruments of repression during the Nazi era.

The buildings that housed the Gestapo and SS headquarters were largely destroyed by Allied bombing during early 1945 and the ruins demolished after the war. The boundary between the American and Soviet zones of occupation in Berlin ran along the Prinz-Albrecht-Strasse, so the street soon became a fortified boundary, and the Berlin Wall ran along the south side of the street, renamed Niederkirchnerstrasse, from 1961 to 1989. The wall here was never demolished.