Known, until 1932, as Saponara di Grumento, the village dominates the Agri Valley from above. This ancient settlement, built around the year 1000, welcomed refugees from the village of Grumentum below, destroyed by the Saracens a few decades earlier. In 1857, the serious earthquake that affected the territory, one of the most intense and destructive of recent centuries in Italy, killed 2,000 people, reducing the village and the entire monumental complex to rubble, including the Sanseverino castle of which only a few remains are visible today. In the upper part of the village we can see the Mother Church. Initially built in 1118, it was renovated four centuries later, even if the current structure is the result of a reconstructions that took place after the earthquake of 1857. The historic centre is characterised by the presence of some chapels dedicated to the Rosario, the Madonna di Pietà, Santa Caterina di Alessandria, the Madonna della Salute and Sant’Infantino.

In the heart of the Agri Valley rises Grumentum, wonder of the archaeological heritage of Basilicata. An ancient Roman colony, founded in the first half of the third century BC, is considered by many to be the small Lucanian Pompeii by virtue of the very rich artefacts found there, which make it one of the most important archaeological areas in the South. It is in this place that the Romans of Claudius Nero and the Carthaginians led by Hannibal confronted each other. Despite his huge elephants, the latter was defeated. The theatre from the Augustan period, the temples, the domus and all the archaeological evidence are an exceptional example of the level of Romanisation reached in Lucania between the republican and late-antique periods.
Alta Val d’Agri Museum
The Museum is located in Contrada Spineta, close to the Archaeological Area. It hosts prestigious finds, including the marble head of Livia, wife of Augustus. The Museum is divided into two areas, one relating to the pre-Roman era and the other to the Roman period. In the first, a section is dedicated to the paleontological nucleus with some important animal fossils, which testify to the fact that the entire valley 10,000 years ago was occupied by a large lake that, in all probability, was fed by the current tributaries of the Agri. The Museum also features a large series of archaeological finds that can be dated back to the Bronze and Iron Ages.