In the footsteps of pilgrims, crusaders and Templars, conquering South
The starting point of this itinerary is the city Melfi with its typical Norman castle. Continuing along the itinerary of the Ciclovia dei Borbone up to Venosa, a city of art that was birthplace of the Latin poet Horace, who loved to say he was born and raised near the Ofanto river. The itinerary starts from the castle square, where an Apulian aqueduct fountain makes a fine show: in fact, Venosa is a junction point with the Apulian Aqueduct Cycle Route but also with the EuroVelo 5 Via Romea Francigena which follows the route of the Via Appia Antica. At the gates of Venosa, a beautiful tree-lined avenue leads to the area of the archaeological excavations and the fascinating Incompiuta.
The itinerary continues on backroads that cross the valley furrows sloping down from the Vulture towards the river plain.
Recommended place for a stop is the orchard.-garden Bosco delle Rose, next to the dam of Lampeggiano, in which the ruins of Santa Maria delle Rose or della Foresta and Santa Maria ad Martyres insist, two small buildings of worship respectively from the 11th Century and the XV Century.
This stage starts from Lavello, a town also of Norman origins. After crossing the Ofanto through the bridge-canal of the Apulian Aqueduct, a small mount stands out in front: it is Montemaggiore, the place of a famous pitched battle where in 1041 the Normans defeated the Byzantines. Once reached the Capacciotti reservoir and having admired the landscape with the shelters (it. iazzi) for grazing animals, the route continues to Borgo Libertà, village of the Land Reform, where the Torre Alemanna, a medieval settlement founded by the Templars, is open to the public as a museum.