to Venosu. MELFL 15. U'ule. | 77
with the ancient Lucania. The town lies on an eminence abo\e
the Basento, which rises on the mountain Ariosa not far from
this and falls into the Gulf of Taranto near the ruins of Meta-
pontum. The ancient Potentia, destroyed by Frederick II. . and
again by Charles of Anjou on account of its attachment to Prince
Conradin, lay lower down in the plain, at tlie spot now called
La Murata, where coins and inscriptions have frequently been
found. The earthquake of 1857 here caused an appalling loss.
The greater part of the town, including the Lyceum, fell and
numerous lives were lost. In consequence of wounds alone 4001'
persons underwent amputations. The result in 30 or 40 neigh¬
bouring villages was not less disastrous; for this stupendous
catastrophe had taken place in a circular course in three distinct
shocks, of which the second was the most violent. A line drawn
from Monte Vulture to the volcano of Stromboli intersects the
places which suffered most: thus Auletta, Atena, l'olla. Sala.
Padula, Saponara, Sapri and many other villages were entireh
destroyed. In the direction of Mt. Vesuvius, towards Naples and
Salerno to the W., the concussions were much more violent than
in the opposite direction. The loss of life was not less than that
occasioned by the earthquake of 17S3 in Calabria. The shocks
recurred in March and April, 1858. — A dilig. runs from Potenza
direct to Trani (p. 163) on the Adriatic coast-railway in 14 hrs..
fare 17 1.
From Potenza a mountain-road (dilig. in 9—10 hrs., fare 6 1.)
leads by Avigliano and Atetla to (38 M.) Melfi (Albergo Basil;
Trattoria del Sole, with a few bed-rooms), picturesquely situated
on the slope of Monte Vulture, seat of a bishop, with an old
castle of the Norman sovereigns, who often resided here. The
upper portion of the town was entirely destroyed by the earth¬
quake: a great part of the remainder has been re-erected. Here
in 1059 Pope Nicholas II. invested Robert Ouiscard with the duchie-
of Apulia and Calabria. The magnificent Cathedral of ILj.j. al¬
most entirely destroyed by an earthquake in 1851. has since been
modernized. The town-hall contains a fine Roman sarcophagus.
From this point the extinct volcano Monte Vulture may be
visited. Horace mentions it as the 'Apulian Vultur, for it for¬
med the boundary between Lucania and Apulia at that period.
Calabria extended hence in a S.E. direction to the Iapygian or
Salentinian promontory the modern Capo di Leuca: and SW
the land of the Bruttii, as far as the Sicilian straits. Since the
middle ages, however, the latter district has been termed Calabria.
whilst the ancient Calabria is now the Terra di Otranto.
The former crater of M. Vulture is densely overgrown with
oaks and beeches, among which two small and deep lakes are
situated. By one of these is the most pioturesutiel} situated
Baedekek. Italy 111. 2d. Edition. !'J