| 7S, Route 15. VENOSA.
Capuchin monastery of £. Michele and the ruined church of
.9. Ilario. On the farther side of the principal crater rises the
summit of the mountain, 11 Pizzuto di Melfi (4090 ft.). Melfi
lies on a bed of lava on the N.E. slope. The circumference of
the mountain is about 35 M.
A road leads from Melfi E. to (15 M., bridle-path, a pleasant
route, 7 M. only) Venosa (two miserable inns), the ancient Ve-
nusia, colonized by the Romans after the Samnite war, now a
small episcopal town, picturesquely situated on the slope of Monte
Vulture, not far from the small river Fiumara, the "pauper aquae
Daunus" of Horace (Od. III. 30, 11), and near the more con¬
siderable Ofanto, Lat. Aufidus. It is commanded by the massive
ruins of the castle of Pirro del Blazo of the 15th cent., and the
abbey and church of 5. Trinita, consecrated by Pope Nicholas II.
in 1058, containing the tombs of the founder Robert Guiscard
and his first wife Aberarda, mother of Bohemund. Frescoes of
the 13th and 14th cent, have recently been discovered in the
church. The three principal chapels are still distinctly recognised.
The nave is 76 paces in breadth. The handsome court contains
numerous inscriptions, columns and other relics of an amphi¬
theatre, the scanty remains of which are in the neighbourhood. —
Near Venosa, on the road to the Fiumara, Jewish catacombs were
discovered in 1853, containing inscriptions in Hebrew, Latin and
Greek. History also records that Jews were numerous here in the
4th and 5th centuries. An ancient network structure, of which
a few fragments still exist, is termed the Casa di Orazio. Horace,
son of a freedman, was born at Venusia, Dec. 8th, B.C. 65, and
there received his elementary education, after which his father
accompanied him to Rome in order to procure him better in¬
struction. He frequently mentions the "far resounding Aufidus"
in his poems, as well as the villages in the vicinity (Od. III.
4. 14), such as the lofty Acherontia, now Acerenza, 9 M. to the
S.E., the woods of Bantia, N. of the latter, now Abbadia de' Banzi,
near Genzano, and the fertile meadows of the low-lying Ferentum
(probably Forenza). Near Palazzo, 6 M. to the E. of Venosa, to
the r. of the road to Spinazzola, rises an abundant spring, now
called Fontana Grande, believed to be identical with the Fons
Bandusiae so highly praised by Horace (Od. III. 13).
On the wooded heights between Venusia and Bantia, B. C. 208,
M. Claud. Marcellus, the gallant conqueror of Syracuse and the
first to arrest the tide of Hannibal's success (at Nola, 215), fell
into an ambuscade and perished.
Lavello, where king Conrad died in 1254, lies 9y2 M. to the
N. of Venosa, beyond the wooded slopes of the Monte Vulture.
The traveller may proceed thence by (231,,2 M.) Canosa (p. 162)
to the (16 M.) railway-stat. Barletta (p. 162).