A medieval fortress on the border between Campania, Apulia and Basilicata
In the area that was once the first capital under Norman domination in southern Italy stands the Castle of Melfi, a fortified construction dating to the Middle Ages, built on the border of present-day Campania, Apulia and Basilicata. Throughout its history, the structure has undergone several modifications, especially during the Angevin and Aragonese periods. Formed by four entrances, only one of which is still usable, the building consists of ten towers, seven rectangular and three pentagonal.
Behind the entrance gate are the stables and courtyards “dello Stallaggio” and “del Mortorio”, Angevin works built in the 13th century at the order of Charles II of Anjou. The “Sala del Trono”, which houses the museum, and the “Sala degli Armigeri” beneath it date to the same period. Don’t miss the “Sala delle Scodelle”, where they would proclaim the Constitutions of Melfi, a set of rules to regulate social and civil life in the Kingdom of Sicily.
A marble sarcophagus from the 2nd century AD with decoration in relief, attributable to workshops in Anatolia, is exhibited inside one of the towers. Its lid famously depicts the deceased “sleeping”, while effigies of Roman gods and heroes adorn the sides. The castle’s archaeological collection boasts some Magna Graecia red-figure ceramics from the 4th-3rd century BC and monumental vases with polychrome decoration.