Accettura (MT): A commune (Area: 89.27 km². alt: 770 m) of Basilicata, in the province of Matera. Located 84 km SW of Matera, it is situated in the Lucanian Apennines, on a pair of hills to the N of M. Piano, to the right of the torrent Salandrella. Population: 2,168 (2006e). Blessed with fertile soil, the commune’s economy is devoted to agriculture (wine, olive oil) and sheepherding. It produces a fine sheep-milk cheese. Other products include grains, wine-grapes, and olives. Much of the territory is still covered with forests, providing a basis for industries of lumber and carbon. Sheepherding is also important. Tourism is also being developed.Part of the Comunità Montana Collina Materana. It is within the confines of the Parco Gallipoli-Cognato.
Frazioni & Localities: Valmiletta, Tempa Cortaglia.
Tel. Prefix: 0835.
Name of Inhabitants: Accetturesi
Patron Saint(s): S. Giuliano.(Feast Day:).
History: A settlement has existed here since the time of the ancient Greek colonization. According to some sources the existing center was founded by the Lombards sometime between the 6th and 10th centuries. Others state that Accettura was founded in the 10th century by settlers coming from three now-abandoned nearby villages. In 1060, it was given by Count Roberto of Montescaglioso to the Bishop of Tricarico. It continued to grow into a flourishing center until, in 1272, it was destroyed by a devastating fire. After being rebuilt, Accettura was given by King Charles I as a fief to the Bazzano family. It later passed to other noble families including the Della Marra (1380), Ponsiaco (1390), Carafa (1517), Colonna (1639), and Spinelli (19th century). In 1648, the population numbered about 2,000.
Points of Interest:
In the locality of Tempa Cortaglia are the remains of Lucanian fortifications dating to the 6th century BC.
Medieval fortifications (castle and other buildings) are located near M. Rosa.
At the foot of M. Crocchia (1,125 m) is the site of an ancient, prehellenic city.
The Mother Church of S. Nicola contains an interesting engraved 17th century bell. The façade is relatively simple, the lower portion being somewhat more decorative than the upper part. It has a fine 19th century portal. The front of the church is approached by double stairways. Among its treasures is a 17th / 18th century painted tele depicting the “Maddalena”. Some interesting 13th century terracotta statues are preserved here.
The existing Baroque church of the Annunciata was built on the site of an earlier church. It has an excellent 14th century bifora window. The façade includes a representation of the Annunciation. Decoration includes some fine 19th century maiolica tile work. The campanile has an interesting hexagonal upper portion.
The church of S. Antonio has a number of artistic treasures.
The ex-Convent of S. Francesco di Assisi was founded in c1585. Its church houses an altarpiece depicting the “Madonna with child among the Saints Francis from Paola and Anthony”, as well as a painted tele depicting the Annunciation, attributed to Attilio De Laurentis from Montemurro. In the canonical house is a gilded 17th / 18th century polychrome wooden reliquary containing the relics of S. Giuliano.
In the chapel of S. Rocco is an interesting Crucifix and a 19th century organ.
Spring Festival- week preceding Ascension Sunday.
Feast of the Maggio- Also known as the Matrimonio di alberi (Marriage of the Trees), this unique 3-day event culminates on Pentecost Sunday. A survival of early pre-Christian Lucanian nature rites, two trees (labeled the maggio [=groom] and the cima [=bride]) are cut down from the nearby Montepiano forest and carried into the town. The transporters of the trees walk at a leisurely pace, often stopping to enjoy a variety of food and drink. The festival culminates on Sunday when both trees are grafted together in a symbolic “marriage.” The celebrations include a procession led by the statue of S. Giuliano and a contest to climb to the top of one on the tops.