Ripalta | Park Gates
Cerignola’s Park Gate is a system of four access-points along the last Apennin’s bastion
The Municipality of Cerignola is the third Italian municipality by territorial extension, the first in terms of arable land. This exceptional feature means that the Ofanto river enters the territory of Cerignola on the border with Ascoli Satriano and Lavello, where the middle Ofanto valley takes on its typical wavy aspect with a predominance of wheat crops, crossing it up to the Roman Bridge, at the border with Canosa and San Ferdinando di Puglia now in the lower valley of the river where vines and olives are also grown. The Ripalta highland is the last bastion of the plateau that descends from the Apennines towards the plain, an important landscape transition point.
Ripalta is the identity place par excellence of Cerignola. It is the Sanctuary where the Byzantine icon of the Black Madonna, protector of Cerignola, is kept for half of the year. But Ripalta is also an archaeological site where a pagan temple dedicated to the Goddess Bona once stood. The stretch of river below the “high bank” (150 m asl) of the river still preserves an important stretch of natural forest still intact. Near the entrance to the sanctuary, there is the Alicino farm which produces oil and sheep cheeses and is open to the public during holidays.
Located downstream of some erosion slopes in sandy-silty material, mostly cultivated with cereals, Borgo Moschella is a village founded during the land reform in the 1950s which testifies to a recent history of enhancement policies interrupted together with the villages twins from Loconia (Canosa di Puglia), Gaudiano (Lavello), Libertà (Cerignola) and Santa Chiara (Trinitapoli). Moschella was the place where, starting from 1999, after a long absence in the Tavoliere, the return of the white stork, which is the symbol of Cerignola, was reported. It is also one of the best areas of the vast countryside of Cerignola for the collection of spontaneous herbs, including the precious yellow asphodels.
Capacciotti Lake and Borgo Libertà (Torre Alemanna)
Beyond the gullies of Bellaveduta and Montagna Spaccata located north of the alluvial plain where Moschella rises, on the border with the Daunian Mounts and the territory of Ascoli Satriano, stands Borgo Libertà, 250 meters above sea level, with its symbol Torre Alemanna, vistable medieval complex founded by the Templar Order at the time of the Crusades.