At the bottom of an ancient lake, there was once an Apulian city that later became a Roman colony on the Via Appia and was named Venusia. You can find traces of the city's past in the Archaeological Park on the Ofantina road just outside the town. Here, before or after taking in the beautiful sights of the town of Venosa, you can admire the Abbey of the Holy Trinity, one of the most fascinating medieval buildings in the whole of Southern Italy. The complex consists of an old church that was to have been incorporated into a majestic new church, which still remains unfinished, leaving only a hint of its intended splendour to posterity.
The historic centre is also a real treasure trove. Venosa was the birthplace of the famous Latin poet Quintus Horatius Flaccus, more commonly known as Horace. Visitors can still see his birthplace today (but only from the outside) and a statue of him.
In the main square, Piazza Umberto I, stands the Castle, which has an unusual portico. It houses a library, an archaeological museum and is also used as an exhibition venue. From here, along Via Vittorio Emanuele, which has the appearance of a real main street, you reach the Cathedral of St Andrew. The narrow street widens out before it reaches the cathedral. Here stands the Messer Oto fountain (one of many still in use around the city), which is very convenient for drinking, especially on hot days. Dating from 1300, it still has its original water trough surmounted by a large stone lion.
There are many fascinating sights to see as you wander through the streets and squares of Venosa. It is a succession of historic buildings all of which feature ancient stones, plaques, bas-reliefs, pillars and mouldings.
The town is quite lively, both during the day and at night. The bars and cafes overlooking the main square are popular with both young and old, for a snack, a beer or even a glass of Aglianico, the excellent local wine.