A Small Country Built
Upon History & Legend

Ladies' Association of Maschito
Scura Street no. 48
85020 Maschito (Pz) Potenza
This book
Compliments of
Frank Caglia
and Joe Manduano
Fresno, CA


Maschito is located Northeast of Basilicata, a small town covering a little hill named Mustafa about 594 meters above sea level.

It is part of the Albanian ethnic island of Vulture and covers a surface of about 45-49 square kilometers.

It borders Venosa on the North, Forenza on the South, Palazzo San Gervasio on the East and Ginestra on the West.

Maschito has a typical Mediterranean climate with a slight difference because of its distance from the sea.

The economy is based upon agriculture, especially grapes and olives. As of 1994, the resident population was about 2000 inhabitants.


Historical Facts

Maschito was founded as a small town in 1467 under the care of Ferdinando of Aragon when George Castriota Skanderburgh was sent with numerous troops to fight the "Angioini" pretenders to the throne of Naples and the Barons.

After the capture of Kroja by the Turks and the abandonment of Scutari between 1478 and 1479, the first migration of Albanians came to the region called the Basilicata.

In 1533, when the Fortress of Corone fell, and the conquest of Albania was certain, the earliest Albanian arrivals were joined by a large number of Coronei (Greeks from Corone) who voluntarily followed the Maldesi.

The peace treaty between Charles V and the Sultan Sulimann II was signed in Constantinople on June, 1533.

The plaza of the fortress Corone, located on the Western boundary of Messina, was assigned to the Turks on the condition that the inhabitants who wished to leave could board a ship loaned by Charles V and find refuge in Italy. Therefore, the Coronet scattered through various parts of Southern Italy, settling in Basilicata, San Costantino Albanese, San Paolo Via T. Tasso.


Albanese which is now called Casalnuovo Lucano, and Farneta which received people from Ginestra, Barile and Maschito.

At that time, the territory of Maschito belonged to the Bishop of Venosa and the Prior of the Gerosolomitano of Bari. By law, around November 17, 1539, the Notary Giacomo Citamiore of Venosa, and the Viceroy Don Pedros of Toledo who was ruler of Naples, ceded the aforementioned territory to Sig. John de Icis who pledged sixty six ducats (L. 280.50) a year to the Bishop and 20 ducats (L. 85) to the Prior of Bari. Sig. De Icis was able to settle Maschito by public law, verified by the notary Giovanni Francesco, and the Judge of Cosenza on September 26, 1541. The Albanian Greeks were obligated to pay one ducat (L. 4.25) a year from the annual income of each household, and 200 ducats extra a year if the number of homes increased by one.

Maschito, becoming the Fife of Carafa D'Andria, the first two centuries observed the Greek religious services in the S. Nicola Church which was destroyed years later, after which the Latin services were adopted by the Church.


The Churches

With time, the following churches were built in Maschito:

The Church of Caroseno was built in 1558 by the Albanian Greeks from Corone, and is famous for the very precious fresco of the Madonna which was discovered in 1930 during the restoration of the building. There are also two large paintings with themes of the Pentecost and the Presentation of Jesus in the Temple that are the works of a famous artist who lived near the end of the 700's.

The Church of Purgatory preserves an artistic picture of the Madonna of Constantinople which was formerly in a church now completely destroyed. Churches dedicated to the Virgin of the most holy Rosary of Pompeii have no definite dates of construction. It is believed they were built at the time Maschito was being developed.

The Parochial Church, sponsored by the Albanians and dedicated to Saint Elia, protector of the town, was built in 1698. It is entirely decorated with artistic decorations and pictures made of stucco by the artist Domenico Pennino. There are two large pictures attributed to Giovanni Batista Caracciolo from Naples (1570-1637) and other artists from his school, as well as an original picture painted by Master Barberis.

Regarding the Holy Family series, Caracciolo worked with another artist to create The Madonna of the Seven Veils seated on an exquisite throne created by the sculptor Egidio Pergola


di Cerignola. Because the veils needed repair, on august 5, 1939, a beautiful new covering was presented by three children and many parishioners.

The works of Pennino are reproduced on the main altar, namely, the Banquet of Tiepolo, the Transfiguration of Jesus before Moses, and Elia on Mount Tabor. The latter was taken from a painting by Raphael that is in the Vatican Gallery.

Because of these aforementioned works and the complex artistic endeavors, the Mother Church of St. Elia perhaps can be regarded as the most beautiful church in Lucania. It was consecrated on November 14, 1653, by the Bishop of Venosa Mons. D. F. Tauruso and was named St. Elia, the Prophet. In 1698, the Bishop of Venosa Mons. De. Laurentis dedicated the church to the Holy Trinity.

On November 14, 1909, a decree was presented by the Bishop of Venosa, Mons. D. Felice del Sordo, to close the church since it was considered "inadequate for worship and dangerous to the health and safety of the faithful." After many years and a long and expensive restoration of the decorations and paintings mentioned, the Church was reopened on Sept. 8, 1950.



The historical palaces are chronologically dated between 1700
to 1900:



Boico Fountain on Venosa Avenue. Skanderbergh Fountain on U. La Malfa Avenue. Della Noce Fountain on Walnut Street. Carrozz Fountain on Venosa Avenue. Cangad Fountain on Venosa Avenue.



Festivals & Holidays

Fairs: September 8.

Markets: All the year around on the 1st and 3rd Monday of each month.

Traditions: Fireworks in honor of St. Joseph on March 19. Grape Festival in October

Procession and Holy Rites: Good Friday observed with Stations of the Cross presented with living tableaux.

Monday of the Angel dedicated to St. Ella. (In early times it was a procession of penitents especially during the years of drought.)

Reins: (for a horse): the last Saturday in April.

The procession is dedicated to the crowning of the Madonna. The faithful prepared carts upon which living tableaux portrayed the sacred images of Mary and St. Michael. In early times harnessed horses decorated with velvet covers, feathers and leather carried the religious scenes and that is how the parade got its name.

Madonna crowned: 2nd Sunday in May.

Sacred Heart of Jesus: The date is chosen according to the ecclesiastical calendar. This procession winds its way along the streets of Maschito on a Saturday evening. The streets are covered with flower petals; the balconies are decorated with coverlets and garlands of lights. On some street corners small holy altars can be found with living characters portraying different stories.

St. Elia: July 20, called the "small festival" because it is only a holy rite.


St. Elia: 1st Sunday in August. This festival features a procession, fireworks and all types of music.

Ascension of our Lord Jesus Christ: Priest places small blessed wooden crosses on certain street corners to protect Maschito from harm. They are usually found on Boulevard Fratelli Giura, Mother Church, Marconi St., Scura St. and Puccini Avenue.


Good Eating
Home-style Cooking
Tagliatelle (pasta) with crumbs and nuts, served especially on Palm Sunday.

Laganelle with milk, sugar and cinnamon, served on ascension Sunday.

Pasta with Must from wine.

Orecchiette with sauce made with chicken and stuffed with giblets, bread crumbs and sugar. Served at the St. Elia festival.

Ravioli with Ricotta.

Cavatelli with zucchini.

Cavatelli with beans.

Bread baked with turnips and fresh peppers.

Greens with wild fennel, lamb, sausage and eggs. Served on Monday of the Angel.

Greens fried with Mackerel on Christmas Eve.

Sausage: Pork, fennel seeds and ground dried peppers.

Snails with tomato and oregano sauce.

Polenta with vegetables or meat sauce.

Omelet with small onions.

Giblets stuffing.

Giblets in tomato sauce and pickled peppers.

Broth made from small lamb's head.


Roll out bread dough or pu~paste and mashed hot pepper seeds, oregano and olive oil. Rustic pizza made with cheese, chicken, eggs, sausage and cinnamon.


Sweets or Desserts

A sweet cake made in the shape of a doughnut for Lent. A cake made in the shape of a doll.

Tarelli with fennel seeds.

A sweet cake made of chestnuts and marmalade for Christmas.

Pettole for Christmas. Sanguinaccio.

Pie of Sanguinaccio.

Polenta with must from wine.

Pizza with bottom layer of corn, then covered with corn meal finocchio seeds, fried onions, raisins and sugar.

Pizza with sweet ricotta cheese.
Crustolo, a special Christmas treat.


Aglianico D.O.C. dry wine, the native wine of Maschito. This wine has been officially recognized since 1971. It is a rosy red wine of an unmistakable flavor and has the perfume of violets. This wine goes well with strong-flavored foods.

The grapes are cultivated in the usual, traditional way. They have special care during two periods of growth: December, to be ready for the first cold weather, and March, to prepare for the hot weather. As soon as the wine is clear, then it is ready for tasting.


Special Sayings

Mama, I love you as you are; you are mine.

To have a longing for this land.

We want to eat, we want to drink, we want to be idle; we don't want to think about work.

The caretaker of the cooking pot knows which spoon is inside of it.


Associate with people of higher station in life than yours, and let them do the shopping.

When an old man has nothing to do, he goes to sleep.

He who doesn't know which way to turn must have good legs.

He lives who plows.

Strength comes from working together.

The best words are those unsaid.


Nursery Rhymes

La, la, la a cat walked with two mice. He went along the walls and found a piece of lard, and because no one saw him he went to the plaza of the Madonna (The little plaza Caroseno) and ate it all.

Please don't cry, nothing will hurt you. This will pass, and will not be so important after all. (Told to a child with a stomach ache.)

Little snail, little snail, little snail each must go to his own house.

"This one wants to eat," says the thumb.
"We don't have anything," says the index finger.
"Let's go rob someone," says the middle finger.
"No, no," the ring finger answers.
"Piripich, piripich bread in the basket, wine in the bottle, meat in the cooking pot, macaroni on the plate. Lucy has not tasted anything, and she has gone to sit beside the brook."
Says the little finger: "Let us go and taste everything."


Useful Information

Distance in kilometers from Maschito:
 Rome 384
 Naples 200
 Bari 110
 Foggia 88
 Matera 90
 Potenza 72

A 16         exit-Candela
A 16         exit West-Cerignola
A 14         exit East-Cerignola


Station from Venosa to Maschito 13 km.

Bus lines-check time schedule.
Marozzi leaves for Rome;
Marziano leaves for Naples and Rome;
Liscio leaves for Rionero with stops at neighboring towns;
Sita leaves for Venosa and Melfi.


Bus Office
Bar De Blase on Marconi St.

City Hall
Cariati St. Phone number (0972) 33047-33074 Fax 33045

City Police
Cariati St. Phone number 33047-33074

Military Police phone number 33001

Emergency clinic only on Saturday and Sunday phone number 33047

P. E. Savino St. open every day except Thursday morning and
Sunday Phone number 33572

Mediterranean Plaza phone number 33117

Post Office and Telegraph
San Francisco Plaza

Public Library and art galleries
Public Library in City Hall on Via Cariati,
Phone number 33047-33074
Public Art Gallery-City Hall-Mario Cangianelli, artist
Mario Cangianelli artist-engraving amd etching


Clubs and Associations

Senior Citizen's Club-1 Dorice St.
Hunter's Club-V Veneto St.
Skanderbergh Club-Marconi St.
Tennis Club-c/o Tennis Court
Ladies'Association-Scura St.
Athletic Club-Calvario St.
Charity-to help young children-L. go Caroseno, 2
Samarcando Club "Arci Nova" Roma Ave.
Gymnasium-Marconi St. 45 managed by Prof. Monaco Donato
where the following activities take place: cars, sports, rehabilitation.
    a. Centro Olimpia-children's activities ages 5-10 years.
    b. Centro C.A.S.-introduction to sports.
    c. "The Gymnist" light athletics.
    d. C.S.A.I.N.- Sports program for adults.

Public and Private Schools

State Kindergarten—Dante Ave
State Elementary School IV November—Dante Ave
State Middle School—Ugo Foscolo St.
Pre school-National project—Largo Caroseno n. 2


Unions and Farm Associations

Farm managers

Social Service and Rehab

C.I.D.S.-Venosa Ave-home assistance for Senior Citizens; not
associated with Alas.



Introduction......................p. 5
Historical Facts ................p. 7
The Churches..................p. 11
Palaces ...........................p. 15
Fountains.........................p. 17
Folklore ..........................p. 19
Recipes ...........................p. 21
Some Proverbs ................p. 25
Service Groups ................p. 27


Italian Original Prepared by:
    Barbano Fausta
    Bochicchio Angela
    Clingo Anna Maria
    Giura Elena
    Giuralarocca Donatina
    Grieco Elena
    Pianoforte Elena
    Zicoia Adele


Paolo Pescuma-Venosa

Publisher :
Alfagrafica Volonnino
Lavello Pz. (Potenza)

Special thanks to the cooperative C.I.D.A. of Venosa for its kind and helpful collaboration.

English Translation: Edna Bernarc
Typing: Anita Bernardi Clifto

Scanning & Layout: Mike Cliff

 <Back to Maschito>