Via della Ripa Alta
This excursion itinerary connects the main points of interest of that part of the countryside of Cerignola included in the Middle Ofanto Valley dell’Ofanto and which goes from the slopes of the Monti Dauni to the last bastion of the plateau, the Ripalta step, where the Subapennin plunges into the plain and in the Lower Ofanto. It starts from the sanctuary of Madonna di Ripalta (= High Riverbank) at a height of 150 meters.
A steep dirt road, accessible from the pine forest of the sanctuary (open to the public on holidays or request), takes to the river valley where spotting an extensive wooded natural area. Near the large poplar, a road initially unpaved and then asphalted track follows the water pipeline of the Consorzio di Bonifica (restoration consortium) di Capitanata, which takes the water of the Capacciotti dam. Along the sandy wall of the cliff, you can see the typical tunnels dug by bee-eaters, birds with a characteristic brightly colored plumage.
The itinerary continues along the roads of the Consorzio di Bonifica which run parallel to the Marana (local name for water stream) Capacciotti, which flows into the Ofanto at Ripalta and feeds the dam, you reach Borgo Moschella and the nearby dam. Lake Capacciotti is a dam built in the 50s of the last century on the course of the Marana Capacciotti, but part of the water is also derived from the Ofanto thanks to the barrage of Santa Venere which is located between Rocchetta and Melfi. The lake has become a place of passage for migratory birds and is the place for many sport fishing enthusiasts.
The Agriturismo Moschella farmhouse is one of the Gates of the Ofanto River Regional Natural Park. Here, you can take advantage of the parking and plenty of bike-friendly services (bike wash, bicycle workshop, etc.), which is also an educational farm.