Filiano

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Introduction
The Municipality of Filiano is located in the district of Potenza, in the northern part of Basilicata Region; it has its borders with Atella and Ripacandida Municipalities in the north, with Forenza in the east, with Avigliano and Bella in the south, with San Fele and Atella in the west.

The landscape is hilly, with small mountainous and flat areas; its altitude goes from the minimum of 428 meters above sea level in Carda Plane to the maximum of 1.238 meters above sea level on Caruso Mountain, while the capital is located on 607 meters above sea level.
The territory is mostly agricultural, wooded and pastoral: actually, out of the total 7.078 hectares, 1.047 are devoted to pastures and 3000 to woods, while the remaining is mosly covered by urban settlements or by wide agricultural cultivations.

The Municipality of Filiano has a particular anthropical structure. The population -3286 inhabitants- is actually divided between Filiano central core and more than 50 hamlets and lands.

The territory of Filiano has been continuously populated by man, even if with different intensity and during longer or shorter periods since Paleolithic age (600 thousand years ago).
People from Avigliano, as the Osco-Sabelli tradition hands down, started colonizing the surroundings of Avigliano – a very interesting area from the agricultural point of view- several centuries ago.

Probably since 1440, during the Aragonese age, and even more during the Spanish age (about 1500) began the real construction of poor hovels and huts, that after became settlements and that today give life to the several hamlets and lands of the Municipality of Filiano. The demographic growth of the settlements started increasing in 1806 with the abolition of fiefs and the progressive intensification of agriculture. In 1850, the territory of “Avigliano columnists”, counted about 5000 people.

Filiano has been a hamlet of Avigliano Municipality until 1951; on the 1st of May 1952 it became an autonomous Municipality; in this way it stopped, after centuries, being a part of that large territory of “Avigliano Nation”, even though preserving its custom and culture.
From an historical-architectural-cultural point of view, we can find two important Reserves in Filiano Municipality: “Agromonte- Spacciaboschi” and “ I Pisconi ”. “Agromonte-Spacciaboschi” Anthropological Reserve has been established in 1972 in order to preserve a deeply interesting historical site. Here is located the ancient Acermontis; from its ruins we can still discern a church, a small fortress and maybe the walls. The oldest evidences about Agromonte go back to the 9th of June 1152.

In 13th century it had more fires than Avigliano. In 1330 there was just a little “domus” and few dozens inhabitants that, in the course of the year, definitely abandoned their humble abodes. Its name keeps still vivid in the people of the Valley: vivid like its few ruins among the ancient oak trees.

“I Pisconi” Reserve, established in 1972, has the goal of preserving a very important archaeological site. In 1965 Professor F. Ranaldi, the director of Provincial Archaeological Museum in Potenza, found a shelter under the rock and discovered some “rock paintings”, depicting interesting figures in red ochre.

The founding of the rock paintings lends a remarkable historical value to this place. Actually, they unequivocally testify the presence of man since Mesolithic age, the last period of prehistory that dates back to 10.000 – 12.000 years ago.

Products and typical dishes
Filiano Pecorino Cheese
Among local and typical cheese, Filiano’s Pecorino is produced in a the wide area of Vitalba Valley comprised in the Municipality of Filiano between the Mount Vulture and the Great Mountain in Muro Lucano,
The production of this cheese has very ancient origins, even prehistoric.
The territory is scattered with traces of indigenous people devoted to hunting, but also to sheep and goat farming since Mesolithic age (12000 b. C.).

This historical continuity in cheese production is surely due to the territory’s optimal environmental traits, to its richness in pastures, spontaneous fodders (darnel, clover, vetch, straw, and wild oats) and officinal herbs (oregano, thyme, wild fennel, and mallow).
Besides that, the waters’ peculiarity: they to gush out very rich in mineral salts from Mount Vulture’s volcanic layers.
Filiano Pecorino cheese is obtained from sheep whole milk of different breeds: of Basilicata and Puglia origins, the Leccese, Comisana and Sarda ones.

The working techniques are very elaborate and the ageing process in a cool and airy place at a constant temperature lasts for about 1 year.
The finished product weighs from 2 to 5 kilos, it has a cylindrical shape with full or slightly convex bands, a hard rind, scored and irregular, with a golden color, while inside it is compact and its color is between white and straw-yellow (depending on the aging).
It is produced all the year round, with productive peaks in June and July.
Since 1972, the Municipality of Filiano together with the Association for the protection of Filiano Pecorino Cheese organizes, every year in September, a feast for the marketing and the enhancement of the product.
Since October 2002 Filiano Pecorino Cheese gained the national recognition, which is necessary to obtain the prestigious “D.O.P.” quality seal (Appellation of Protected Origin). This recognition is very important in order to institutionalize and safeguard the product’s organoleptic and biological characteristics on a European level, to make it easily recognizable on the market (throughout a brand on the rind), and to guarantee its quality and origin.

Events
19th of March, Feast in honour of Saint Joseph (village of Filiano)
1st of May, The Immabulate Conception (Inforchia hamlet)
May, Feast in honour of Holy Mary in Belvedere (Dragonetti hamlet)
May, Celebration of the Crucifix (Scalera hamlet )
13th of June, Feast in honour of Saint Antony from Padua (Sterpito hamlet)
June, Feast in honour of Saint Antony from Padua (Scalera hamlet)
16 July, Feast in honour of Holy Mary of Carmelo (Carmine Mountain)
August, Feast in honour of Holy Mary of Rosary (village of Filiano)
September, Filiano Pecorino Cheese Festival (1st Sunday)

Popular sayings
(Dialect) La nott’ cchiù long’ è quann t curch’ risciun
(The night seems longer when you go to bed on an empty stomach)

(Dialect) La prima ricchezz’ è lu sparagn’
(The best richness is the saving)

Recipes
Strascinati con lu’ ‘ntruppc’
Strascinati (a traditional kind of homemade pasta) with meat sauce

Ingredients:
400 grams durum wheat flour, 150 grams mixed meat: pork, veal and sausage,
basil, onion, tomatoes, salt.

Knead flour with tepid water and make out 5 cm long and 1 cm thick rolls. Put four fingers on the dough and drag it while putting toward you. In the meanwhile prepare the meat sauce to serve with strascinati, and add grated Filiano Pecorino Cheese.

Useful Links
www.comune.filiano.pz.it
http://www.giorgiofilippi.it/filiano/filiano.htm
http://www.kom.gr/

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