Ancient and modern waterways, from the Romans to the Bourbons
The itinerary along the Locone stream represents the wildest part of the Ofanto Cycle Route, because it takes place mainly on gravel roads in a middle ground between Ofanto and the Murge, between Lucania and Puglia. The stage begins in Spinazzola, a small town on the Apulian Aqueduct Cycle Route, also known for the numerous fountains and springs that flow out of the valleys fan-shaped beneath the built-up area. The valleys are sites of extraordinary importance due to the presence of oak woods and species of very rare amphibians for Puglia such as the spectacled Salamandrina (Salamandrina terdigitata).
In the middle of the course of the Locone, there is a dam surrounded by reforestation of Aleppo Pine and Eucalyptus and long stretches still natural with the presence of both forest and aquatic species, which are the destination of numerous migratory birds. Very impressive is the dirt road that runs along the entire western lakefront and the green road along the asphalted service road from the dam to the Ofanto passing through the Ponte del Diavolo on the Locone.
The Ofantino Derivation, also known as “Contr’Ofanto”, is a canal built in the first half of the nineteenth century to drain the floodwaters of the Ofanto and, at the same time, thanks to the sediments of these, to contribute to the reclamation of the marshes of the area and the salt pans that Charles III of Bourbon decided in those same years to reorganize with a modern production structure. In the twentieth century, a “new” canal was created for the Trinitapoli fill tanks.
In the place where the derivative originates from the Ofanto, the old locks and the house once intended for the guardian are still visible. Proceeding towards the sea, you will encounter important historical testimonies such as the L’Olivolla farm in the Paolo Stimolo district (dialectization of the Latin Paulus Tumulus, or the place where the soldiers of the Roman consul Paolo are thought to have been buried after the defeat of Canne) and Borgo Santa Chiara.