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Cirigliano (MT)
Placed at 656 metres above sea level, surrounded by immense forests of oaks, Cirigliano was built in 1060 and it still preserves the characteristics of a medieval village. The feudal castle with its peculiar oval tower built in the middle of the town still shows these ancient origins.
The name, according to the historian Racioppi, could derive from “Cearellius”, that is to say “Cerellio’s property”, because the village was built on the land of a certain Cerellio, Roman legionary. According to the historian Antonio from Oppido, the name Cirigliano should derive from “Caelianum”, an ancient Roman post house, located on the Via Herculia.
The first official document on which Cirigliano appears dates back to 1060, a pope bull on which Cirigliano is said to be part of the dioceses of Tricarico, when Tricarico moved from the Greek to the Latin rite. During the Norman period, the fief belonged to the county of Montescaglioso and the Lord of Cirigliano was a certain Asmind, a soldier of the principality of Taranto.

In 1167, the village belonged to a certain Pagano, lieutenant of Cirigliano, whose fief was obliged to furnish three soldiers and fours servants. In the following years, under the Angevins, the Lords of Cirigliano were Filippo Echinard and Giovanni Pipino and then King Ladislao gifted it to Giacovello Moccia. Starting from 1487, when king Ferdinand of Aragon sold it to Pascacio Diaz Garlon Count of Alife, the fief was sold to various feudatories such as, in a chronological order, Ettore Marra, Gianvincenzo Sanfelice, Camilla Rocco and her husband Cesare Muscettola, Francesco Muscettola and Giovanni Battista Coppola.
In 1593 Villani’s family bought the fief and then they sold it to Francesco Formica. From some document, we know that Cirigliano, in 1736 was a healthy village built between two valleys whose population dedicated to agriculture, producing olive oil, cereals, wine and linseed. In 1806, when feudality was abolished, the last Lord of Cirigliano was Don Giovanni Formica, who died in 1816 in his family palace, nowadays intact in its external structure. Cirigliano actively participated to the rebel movements against the French and, during the Brigandage, it was subjected to many sacks, such as the one acted by Crocco’s brigands in 1861. In 1973 a huge landslide hardly hit the village and its economy, many vineyards and olive groves were destroyed by the fury of the event and different buildings suffered lots of damages.
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Cirigliano medieval tower

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