Around the World in 80 Models: Valsinni

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Hop on board as we continue our journey Around the World in 80 Models! We began our itinerary at Sketchfab headquarters in New York and are working our way through Europe, Africa, Asia, Oceania, South America, and North America. To catch up on past destinations, check out the rest of the Around the World in 80 Models series.

This week we travel to southern Italy, where archaeologist Antonio Pecci takes us to a castle in Valsinni named for Renaissance poet Isabella Morra.

Valsinni, Italy: Castello di Isabella Morra

I am Antonio Pecci and I am from Ferrandina (Basilicata, Italy). I have a degree in Archaeology at the Unibas (Università degli studi della Basilicata). Now, I am a collaborator at the IBAM CNR (Istituto per i Beni Archeologici e Monumentali – Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche) of Tito Scalo (Potenza, Italy) and I am a student of the School of Specialization in Archaeological Heritage of Salento. I got started in 3D scanning about one year and a half ago for professional work. I am an archeologist and a member of various research groups, specifically I deal with the drones and 3D models. For my works I use a Phantom Vision 2 plus and Agisoft Photoscan.

The scanning of the 3d model of Valsinni Castle was performed for the architectural survey of the entire castle to investigate the walls and create a map of the degradation. The main difficulty has been to guide the drone 360° around the object, avoiding trees, houses, electrical lines, etc.
The results of the acquisition work, processing and interpretation of the data is still in progress and will be subject to forthcoming scientific publications. I have made a video of the drone footage available on YouTube.

The castle of Valsinni, in the province of Matera (Basilicata, Italy. Geographical coordinate 40.168006, 16.442088), was presumably built on a pre-existing Lombard fortification, in the first years after 1000 AD. It is famous and important as it was the home of the poet Isabella Morra. The castle owes its historical value and its fame to the poet who was born there, in 1520, and there was killed at the age of 26 by her brothers when they discovered her relationship with Diego Sandoval de Castro, the Baron of Bollita. The castle and the fief of Favale (today Valsinni) had come to Morra, powerful family of Irpinian origin, through Menocca Vivacqua di Oriolo, in the early sixteenth century, and they were its vassals, with ups and downs, for about 140 years until 1638. Since 1921 the castle is owned by the Rinaldi family.

To see more of Antonio’s models here on Sketchfab, check out his profile.

About the author

Abby & Néstor

Abby and Néstor are Sketchfab Masters.
Abby Crawford, Ph.D. is trained in and passionate about Roman Archaeology and works as a freelance artifact illustrator and 3D scanner in California.
Néstor F. Marqués is a virtual Heritage & cultural diffusion researcher, and an enthusiast of ancient Rome’s culture.


  • Ian Pretorius says:

    Her brothers must have really not liked her boyfriend .. and really hated their sister..

  • soap opera gone wrong 😀
    impressive model, although hd textures arnt loading for me right now.. will check back later.
    Thanks for sharing the footage as well!
    looks stunning! (maybe you should embed the video here.)

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