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Basilicata, our itineraries: Intangible heritage.
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The entire religious community of Basilicata.According to the tradition ,the devotion to the Madonna del Carmelo was diffused in Avigliano before other territories of Basilicata,because of the survivors of the crusades that brought this cult to the east.This devotion to the Virgin Mary is so heart felt that the central institution for Demoantropology recognized the event as an immaterial heritage of Italy.

The territory of Avigliano between the centre and the Carmine mountain,along the marian itinerary.This path is made by stone and kerb and represents the difficulty that the pilgrim has to face to get near to the Virgin Mary.This difficulty is made worse for the pilgrims that decide to bring the “cinti” (decorated structures with candles that represent churches,gates etc) on their shoulders.



Thematic areas Sanctity and religious life
Cultural interest evaluation According to the history of the marian cult,on the highest top of the mountain  Montagnola,a rudimental chapel has to be erged or maybe a tent with a painting of the virgin Mary that permits  the passengers to rest.There is no documentation of the primitive altar,if not the popular memory transmitted to the different generations.
The official date of the cult of Avigliano is 1696.Whoever assists the procession of the Vergine del Carmine di Avigliano is striked by the enourmous ex Voto cinti held on the shoulders of the devouts.They are the “Cinti” gifts dedicated to the virgin Mary,for recieved clemency or required clemency,in the memory of someone or simply for religious faith.The origin of the name is still unknown,many are the hipothesises.Every vote has to be done three times ,even not consequentially.
The first historical document is a draft of 1747 conserved in the historical archive of Naples.There is trace of the”cinti”in many religious rituals of the south of Italy,but those of Avigliano are particular because made of candles,flowers and coloured ribbons(held by the person who follows the one carrying the cinto)and currently who produces them is only one artisan of Avigliano.
Context The cinto represents for the population devoted to the Madonna del Carmine the highest moment of devotion to the Virgin Mary because since centuries the ones who carry a cinto has to do the”questua”:this consists in knocking to the doors of the town for financial resources (since according to the tradition the person can’t invest his own money)to realize it,s sometimes the humilitation of a door shut in his face has to be accepted.There are many people involved in this.
Description of the managment mode The techniques to build the cinti are known only by one artisan of the town,but he is getting old and he needs this art to be transmitted to the new generations,to permit them to use the knowledge that can be learned only in the workshop.
Significant features the Cinti evolved through the centuries:during the dark years of the war the little churches represented on the cinti  became airplanes or ships as a symbol of the military force,where family members of the devotes fought or to remember the armies where they fought.The war cinti were built until 1943,while in 1942 there was,among the others, the church of S.Pietro with the obelisk in the middle,decorated with candles as Domenico De Carlo tells, and also the colonnade of Bernini.It was cured in every detail.Since 1997 they assumed bigger dimensions and made the choice of the coloures wider;the candles are decorated with acetate ribbons and the classical handmade decorations.
They are full of symbolic evocations:the ribbons used in carrying the cinto is the bond to the sacred and represent the vote, that the women untied at the end of the procession.The wood represents the cross ,the candle the light of the faith,the coloures are those of the marian iconography while the climb long the slopes of the Carmine mount represents an atonement of the sins.
Bibliography DON ANTONIO VERRASTRO, Avigliano, città di Maria ;
MICHELE OSTUNI (1993), Fra memoria e storia, Lavello (PZ), pp.216-219;
MICHELE OSTUNI (2006), Canzoniere della gente aviglianese, Avigliano (PZ), pp.95-112;
LELLO COL ANGELO (5/07/1977), Culto per la Madonna del Carmine. Il 16 luglio i tradizionali festeggiamenti di Avigliano attraverso la lettura di antichi documenti, «Il Nuovo Corso»;
EMILIO GALLICCHIO (ed. 1969), La mia terra del Sud ;
DOMENICANTONIO POSSIDENTE (2003), Il solco della memoria;
LEONARDO PISANI (20/04/2012) , La Tradizione dei Cinti ad Avigliano, «La Nuova del Sud»;
LEONARDO PISANI (24/08/2009) , Un carro armato di candele. Il cinto bellico del 1942, «La Nuova del Sud»;
Documentario "La Madonna del Carmine: i Cinti di Avigliano", realizzato per il Potenza Film Festival del 2009, da R. Figliuolo, R. Femia, con Davide Galasso e Donato Galasso;
La Madonna del Carmine, edizioni OCD, 2007;
Ypsilon, numero 3, anno XVI, settembre 2011;
" A pie' del Carmine" di T.

Safeguard plan proposed

Community participation
All the religious and civil community,local and regional is envolevd every year in the devotion to the Madonna del Carmine



Where to eat


Ristorante La Cantina di Rosa Pepe
Via San Biagio, 34
85021 - Avigliano (PZ)
Tel.: 0971 700955 - Fax: 0971 700955
Cell.: 339 866400
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Osteria Medioevo
Via Giacomo Leopardi, snc - Fraz. Lagopesole
85020 - Avigliano (PZ)
Tel.: 0971 86350 - Fax: 0971 86350
Cell.: 340 9004747
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Sito internet:


Ristorante Lo Sfizio
S. Nicola di Pietragalla - C.da Patacca
85021 - Avigliano (PZ)
Tel.: 0971 85176 - Fax: 0971 85176
Cell.: 347 1373346
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Sito internet:


Birreria La Tana Dei Lupi
Contrada Paoladoce, 84 - Possidente
85021 - Avigliano (PZ)
Tel.: 0971 87109
Cell.: 347 0317152
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Source: APT Basilicata

Additional Info

  • Category: Itinerary of the sanctity and religious life
  • Month: August
  • Place: Avigliano