LOCOROTONDO AND THE APULIAN AQUEDUCT CYCLE ROUTE

DISCOVERING LOCOROTONDO AND VALLE D’ITRIA BY BIKE THROUGH THE APULIAN AQUEDUCT

Locorotondo is a town in the province of Bari. Located in a dominant position on a hill in the Valle d’Itria, it borders with Cisternino, Martina Franca and Alberobello. The town, included in 2016 in the prestigious list of the “most beautiful villages in Italy”, rose in the year one thousand. This village had many names before the current one: the toponym, in fact, recalls the characteristic shape of the historical center, composed of a group of small white houses arranged on concentric rings. The characteristic dwelling of the place is the “cummersa”, a house arranged on at least two floors and recognizable by the sloping roof, paved in stone.

Also known as the “city of wine” (the white wine in particular) and until a few years ago hosting an important local winery whose name was known all over the world, Locorotondo has many other interesting qualities, like the attention to cultural and musical events that especially in summer give birth to many interesting initiatives. The most important, internationally known, is the “Locus Festival” and, since 2018, the “Viva Festival”.

  The small historical center is built around a circular plan, as already mentioned, and finds its major points of interest in some buildings including the Municipal Library, former town hall and then kindergarten, the charming Morelli palace, example of the Baroque art of the 1800s. Continuing along the main road leading to the master church, you can admire the spectacle of the white stone that covers the walls of the building dedicated to San Giorgio. A little further on, coming out from the galleries decorated with flowers and kept clean by the inhabitants who still live in the old town, you can choose to visit to the Madonna della Greca church, an example of extremely refined Romanesque art, or on a panoramic walk along Via Nardelli, otherwise called “Lungomare”. The origin of this curious toponym is found in the town’s link with the regional capital, Bari, and with the ancient custom of locals to call the historical center of Locorotondo “Old Bari”, similar to that of the capital of the Murgia . Not sea, but certainly a breathtaking view of the Valle d’Itria. From here, the excursion stops in a local shop of typical products, and then the adventure continues along the Apulian Aqueduct Cycle Route.

The Apulian Aqueduct Cycle Route is a 500 km cycling and hiking route that follows the route of two historic aqueduct pipelines: the Main Canal, from Caposele (AV) to Villa Castelli (BR), which in just nine years ( 1906-1915) succeeded in getting water to Bari, and the Grande Sifone Leccese, which from the end point of the first reaches Santa Maria di Leuca (LE), where the infrastructure is celebrated with a monumental waterfall built in 1939 and recently restored. The Puglia Region, through Acquedotto Pugliese SpA, a company in which it holds all the shares, has financed and built a first section of only 15 km of the cycle route in Valle d’Itria, between Figazzano (town between the Municipalities of Locorotondo and Cisternino) and Ceglie Messapica (BR) which is the section affected by our excursion.