The medieval historical centre of the Arab-Norman town of Tricarico (MT) is one of the most important and best conserved in the region of Basilicata. The present urban perimeter encloses archaeological remains dating to 6th-5th centuries BCE, although the first documented information about its existence dates to the Lombard era. It was an Arab stronghold from the 9th to 10th centuries and later a fortified Byzantine city.
The streets and alleys of the historical centre vary according to the area: labyrinthine in the Arab neighbourhoods of Ràbata and Saracena, where secondary streets known as darb branch off the main thoroughfares which often end in dead ends; or laid out on a grid plan in the Norman neighbourhoods of Monte and Piano where parallel streets are linked perpendicularly by alleyways that are often stepped and steeply sloped. Beneath the Rabata and Saracena areas, the Arab inhabitants created terraced orchards and gardens that are still used today, making the steep land of unproductive and arid soil fertile.
The Norman Tower of Tricarico was inscribed as a National Monument in 1931 and is, with the Cathedral and Ducal Palace, part of the architectural heritage of the city. The tower, 27m high, with walls that are over 5m thick in places, has 4 storeys and rises from the top of a rocky spur where the Monte neighbourhood grew up. The tower was originally the main keep of a castle.