We may only imagine the emotion experienced in 1961 by Agostino Miglio, at the time, Director of the Communal Museum of Castrovillari and who succeeded thanks to the support of two people from Papasidero, Gianni Grisolia and Rocco Oliva, whilst visiting a carving on a great rock and of the finest making, representing a centuries old extinct primitive bull. (Recent studies trace this incredible work to the Paleolithic era, or to 19,000 years ago).
Only a year later (1962) the illustrious Florentine anthropologist and paleontologist Paolo Graziosi began digging, which still carries on today, and they have been able to reconstruct, a piece at a time, the extraordinary story of the “Romito’s Grotto”. The work, today under the direction of Professor Fabio Martini, expert in paleonthology at the department of Antique Science at the University of Florence, as well as director of the Florentine Museum and Institute of Prehistoria ( dedicated to Paolo Graziosi), has revealed several burials datable to different ages ,including in particular two “bisomes”, that is to say, two individuals buried next to each other.
The site may be visited thanks to guides who are present during opening hours, and it holds many surprises such as the room rich with stalactites and stalagmites which may be found deep in the grotto.
Characters who have made history at Papasidero – Nicola Dario (Papasidero, 1836-1912)
In each age and in each place, where people lived and still live, whose achievements, although not always known by the public, have influenced and still influence the fates of entire communities. Also here, at Papasidero, a small town with less than 800 inhabitants, lived ( from the beginning and to the end of his days) a great man: Nicola Dario.
Affirmed watch-maker who worked mainly in the city of Naples, he managed to accumulate, together with his wife Philomena ( who also came from a well-off family),a remarkable heritage which he decided to use to guarantee the well-being of his community.
He brought electricity to the town, he built a nursery school and a cemetery, he had a bridge built so that the faithful could more easily reach the close–by Sanctuary of the Madonna of Constantinople, and incredibly, he created a fund to provide capital for the young who wished to form a family and so guarantee a future to that small village which, still today, dominates the Valley of the River Lao.