Campomaggiore, Basilicata

The utopian city.

The spectacular Lucanian Dolomites are the stage curtains to an abandoned hamlet 38 km from Potenza and 75 from Matera: Campomaggiore.

Abandoned following a landslide in 1885, old Campomaggiore was a small Roman village, founded on a military camp. Today, however, it appears as a precious architectural jewel of extraordinary beauty and charm, in the heart of the Dolomites.

The ruins tell us the story of Count Teodoro Rendina and his utopia. The ancient village, in fact, founded in 1741 by the Rendina family was considered an ideal city, conceived according to innovative criteria for the time and with a vision of some philosophical currents that recall utopian socialism.


We’re in 1741, the Count decided to repopulate the small village of Campomaggiore, received as a gift from King Philp IV. He has an ambitious plan: building a country without poverty, “the utopian city ”, as it was later defined. He developed a real passion for the project and commissioned the architect Giovanni Patturelli, a student of the well-known Vanvitelli.

Vestiges of that experience still remain in the ancient village: significant architectural structures that clearly refer to the urbanistic and socio-economic experiment promoted by the noble Rendina family and, among the ruins, the all equal and uniform little houses granted to the colonists, by virtue of a “social pact”: Every peasant who would have moved to Campomaggiore would have been entitled to have a piece of land to build his stone house and to wood, but for every tree chopped down, 3 fruit trees would have been planted instead.


His idea was successful and in 1885 the town reached more than 1500 inhabitants. Unfortunately, a massive landslide razed Campomaggiore and with it the Count utopian dream.

Today walking through the ruins one can still distinguish the prominent Baronial Palace and the bell tower of the church dedicated to Our Lady of Carmel despite the passing of time.

A place dense in mystery and charm that is definitely worth visiting!

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