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Trip Planner Europe  /  Italy  /  Basilicata  /  Province of Potenza  /  Melfi
(4.2/5 based on 420+ reviews for 6 attractions)
Things to do: historic sites, museums, sightseeing
Melfi is a town and comune in the Vulture area of the province of Potenza, in the Southern Italian region of Basilicata.GeographyOn a hill at the foot of Mount Vulture, Melfi is the most important town in Basilicata's Vulture, both as a tourist resort and economic centre.HistoryEarly and Middle Age historyInhabited by the Daunians and Lucanians, under the Romans it was included in the area of the colony of Venusia, founded in 291 BC. After the fall of Western Roman Empire, Melfi gained importance in the Middle Ages as a strategic point between areas controlled by the Byzantines and those controlled by the Lombards.Melfi was captured several times by the struggling powers of the region, until it was assigned to the Norman leader William I of Hauteville. The Hauteville family started from here their conquest of southern Italy, which, in the early 12th century, led to the creation of the Kingdom of Sicily.In 1059 Melfi became the capital of the Duchy of Apulia. Papal counciles were held in the city in the same year and in 1109. In 1231, Emperor Frederick II proclaimed the Constitutions of Melfi (or Constitutiones Augustales) here, reinforcing control over his ever-expanding territory. He created a bureaucracy of paid officials, who among other things imposed a tax system on the local feudal rulers, who resented it but could not resist.
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