The Castle

Ruins on ruins Of the ancient castle built in 300 and rebuilt in 500, only ruins remain. The manor was born in completion of the walls of the Lombard fortress, as can be deduced from one of the towers of typically Norman polygonal shape. The domain of stone Its presence has so much influenced the town centre materializing the power of the Lord in the area and his public exercise of jurisdiction over the population. This way, the castle not only constituted a defensive structure but also the centre of the administrative local life. Under the Chiaromonte family it was renovated and enlarged, as suggested by the rectangular tower built on the north overlooking the Mattock.


The History

“Arpazo” to survive The first to settle on the karst rock on which stands the village were probably the inhabitants of the caves who, in order to survive, hunted its fauna and used its flora: from this derives its ancient name “Arponion” (from “arpazo” which means to steal and rip all the resources off the mountain). The oak which betrayed Troy Compared to the current name of the village, however, there are different hypotheses. According to some it comes from the oak that grows wild in the area and whose Epeo timber would have built the Trojan horse. According to others, it derives from the Semitic word kirkis or boiling, for the presence of a hot sulphur spring, or from the Greek Kirkos or the Latin Circus, which would indicate the circle of mountains that surrounds it, or more likely, the circle of fortifications that protected it against the invasion of the Saracens.

The spiritual door of Sibaritide Perched on the slopes of Mount Sellaro, at over 700 meters above sea level, dominated by the ruins of the castle, the current town dates back to the Middle Ages, but the first documents attesting the existence of the village date back to the Byzantine period when it is indicated, with the name of Circlarium, at the centre of a monastic area of great importance. There are also many natural caves that were inhabited by hermits. Sources:


Accommodation & Restaurants


Grotta delle NinfeAlbergo, Ristorante, PizzeriaC. Balzo di CristoTel. 0981-991471/991109

Antica Dimora Palazzo Rovittistruttura del 1700, Cerchiara CentroE-Mail: info@palazzorivitti.itTel. 0981.991572, Emilio – Pensione, RistoranteC. Balzo di CristoTel. 0981-991500/991272 Azienda Agrituristica – AcamporaC. Milza TeI. 0981-991320 RESTAURANTS & BAR Fontana vecchia – Ristorante,


Tel. 0981-991620

Il solito posto – Ristorante,

Pizzeria, Bar

Tel. 0981-991507

La campagnola – Ristorante C. Piana Tel. 0981-992318 La caldana – Ristorante C. Balzo di Cristo Tel. 0981-991608 La staccionata – Pizzeria,


C. Tesauro Tel. 0981-994389

Locanda ‘Il campanile” Ristorante Tel. 0981-991636 Pizzeria – Bar ruscelli c. Piana Tel. 0981-992259 Bar Santagada V. Tel. 0981-991047 Bar Sport

Tel. 0981-991003

Bar Fontana Vecchia Tel. 0981-991434



Visualizzazione ingrandita della mappa

Its origins date back perhaps to the Ausoni and it is believed to have been re-established on the ruins of the ancient Arponion. Its name derives from Querquarium, for the oak woods that surround it. Many were the lords of Cerchiara, but the most important were the Pignatellis who were its masters for more than 300 years. Interesting is the Church of St. Peter, a building of the ’400, where you can admire the Great Altar; worth attention are the two side doors carved in bas-relief. They house some paintings of great value and a statue of S. Bonifacio carved in wood. In the area of ​​Cerchiara there are several monasteries. The most important is that of S. Maria delle Armi of which you can read in this site. There are, in the town, numerous caves and chasms of considerable speleological interest. Remarkable is the phenomenon of concretions in the cave of Serra del Gufo. The cave of the Nymphs is important for a spa itinerary. From it spring sulphur waters at 30 °, known since the time of Magna Graecia for their therapeutic properties.