It appears at the foot of the Mercure Valley, within the Pollino National Park a few kilometers from the borders with Calabria.
It is a small village of medieval origins still betrayed by numerous buildings and archaeological ruins including tombs, frescoes and amphorae. Characteristic and fascinating alleys cross the village, guiding visitors’ curiosity among the countless testimonies – both architectural and cultural – of that remote past from which Castelluccio took shape. Fragments of history enveloped and guarded in the green of nature that explodes around this inhabited centre with various springs and with the Oak wood of Difesa, giving original smells and sensations.
It has remote origins and once was united with Castelluccio Superiore, it conquered its autonomy in 1813 thanks to the Sanseverinos, whose captain named Lucio originated the name “Castel di Lucio” and therefore the current “Castelluccio”.
The strong tradition that links the Lagonegrese to the Catholic culture is witnessed by countless celebrations that take place throughout the year.
CULTURAL AND ARTISTIC HERITAGE
The Convent and the church of the Madonna delle Grazie, both located at the entrance of the village are of great artistic interest, as well as for religious devotion. A building dating back to 1573 by the friars.
A welcoming atrium precedes the access to the church that stands out radiant in Romanesque style. Four pilaster strips make the façade elegant by supporting the pediment characterized by inverted groove moldings. In the central part of the façade, above the entrance, there is a roundish glass window. At the top, instead, at the centre of the pediment, there is a small oval window.
The interior is gorgeous. The liturgical hall, rectangular and in baroque style, boasts 6 altars on the sides. The solid masonry structure is covered by a double-pitched roof accompanied on the left by a majestic square-shaped bell tower. On the upper part of the village stands the Convent of Sant’Antonio, guardian of several paintings of the 17th century and of a splendid wooden Madonna with the Infant Jesus in her arms.
To embellish one of the little squares of the ancient village is precisely the mother church of San Nicola, flanked by the Marquis Palace. The style is neoclassical and the interior is adorned with a rich series of wall paintings. Local marble dating back to the 18th century covers the balustrade of the presbytery revived by the coloured marbles of the altar, as well as by a particular baptismal stone source and by the presence of the choir.
Equally remarkable are the factories also located at the village entrance: numerous factories that used the movement of the water stream to draw power from it.
FOOD AND WINE
Homemade pasta and salami. These are the symbols of the local gastronomy. In particular the “rascatidd”, fusilli, the “rafaiul”, ricotta ravioli, the “cavatidd”, gnocchi, and, again, “lagan and fasul”, tagliatelle with beans are the dishes that on sundays occupy the tables of the Castelluccesi, followed by inviting grilled sausages, slices of capicollo and bacon.
On the other hand, local sweets are based on black pudding, replaced by the classic chestnut ravioli at Christmas time. “Cannaricoli” and chatter abound at Carnevale, while it is traditional to prepare a crown-shaped cake, the so-called “buccellato”, in the Easter period.