The haunting landscape of the Murge area, between Bari and Taranto, is scattered with deep gorges (gravine) and fissures in the limestone rock, some of which were inhabited in the Neolithic age, others transformed into crypts in mediaeval times (laure).
The Apulian Settlement of Monte Sannace and the Bosco delle Pianelle
Arrival at the hotel. Visit to the Archaeological Nature Park of Monte Sannace where the remains of an Apulian settlement dating betweenthe 5th and 3rd century B.C. have been brought to light. Here are visible the three stages of decay of the woods: Mediterranean bush, scrub and steppes (duration: 1 1/2 hours). Transfer to the area of Martina Franca for a walk
through the Bosco delle Pianelle, one of the most important oak forests, containing a species that grows to enormous lights
(duration: 2 hours). Picnic lunch. Return to the hotel for dinner and overnight stay.
Dinosaur Footprints and Bauxite Caves at Altamura
After breakfast, visit to the Pontrelli quarry near Altamura where hundreds of footprints of dinosaurs that lived some 70
million years ago have been found. Here the visitor can see the various strata of Alta Murgia (duration: 1 1/2 hours). The visit continues to Pulo di Altamura, one of the widest karst ravines in Apulia, 90 metres deep and 500 metres wide. It was inhabited during the Neolithic era and is considered to be the most spectacular karst formation in the Murge area duration: 2 hours). Picnic lunch. In the afternoon transfer to Spinazzola to admire the red landscape of the bauxite quarry. Along the way, you can observe the evocative contrast between the Bradanica plain and escarpment of Murge. There will be a short stop to observe the typical method of construction of Iazzo Pantano (duration: 3 hours). Return to the hotel for dinner and overnight stay.
Gravina, the City in the Ravine
After breakfast, transfer to Gravina, which means “ravine”. The town is in fact entirely hewn out of the limestone rock. San Michele is the ancient Cathedral of the town, a grotto-church dug straight out of the rock. The Church of Santa Maria degli Angeli was built on the precipice between the 8th and 9th century, as was the nearby Madonna della Stella, famous since the 13th century. After lunch at the restaurant Madonna della Stella overlooking Gravina, visit to the Pomarici Santomasi Museum where the Church of San Vito Vecchio has been rebuilt with Byzantine-style frescoes dating from the 13th century. Departure as planned.