Young summer, when at the beginning of June the wind still blows fresh from the Mediterranean, nature has not yet dried up and the beaches are pleasant places to walk on, you can’t deny yourself a little bike ride. The landscape flows at a slow pace through the eyes and in an ideal journey the perfect route winds through Puglia from the Trulli of Aberobello in the heart of the Itria Valley, passing through white villages like Cisternino or Locorotondo. A journey to be made completely immersed in nature to rediscover simple and authentic flavors, a journey made in Puglia.
Starting from Basilicata, leaving behind the urban system of Matera, the renowned city of the Sassi, before reaching Puglia, the land offers unmissable spectacles articulated among plants and wild flowers that accompany the traveler on the roadside. Immense expanses of peach and cherry trees, fields of wheat and fallow alternate with horses intent on working the meadows, cows stretched out to graze close to the stables or flocks of sheep intent on drinking the streams. All of a sudden, the gaze crosses the spectacular and authentic Puglia, the truest one, where the old white farms stand out behind immaculate and white churches. The round plain stops in Alberobello near the living crib of the trulli, formerly forest territory. Cycling along these roads, you will pass by the Bosco Selva where the dark color of the oak forest contrasts with the snow-white of the trulli and the ancient buildings. In the eighteenth century it was still a hunting area, today this area is of great tourist and cultural importance.
The breathtaking view of one of the oldest inhabited places of mankind leads the ideal path to the discovery of these areas authentically steeped in beauty, to penetrate the Murgia and Tavoliere. Ideal flavors whet the appetite invigorated by the capocollo of Maritna Franca, the mozzarella of Itria, to be accompanied by a thunderous local wine. In the Botanical Conservatory, I Giardini di Pomona, you can enjoy 500 different varieties of this highly nutritious fruit. The ferulae at the edge of the path excite with their typical yellow color similar to agave. There are several itineraries and organized routes that can be followed in a journey on two wheels to discover the authentic Puglia. The routes proposed by Cicloturismo, with six cycle paths that cross the region are characterized as exclusive routes, reserved for lovers of sacrifice for the discovery of regional authenticity.
There is no shortage of fascinating creatures belonging to the local fauna in this enchanted journey: hawks, kestrels and grackles contribute to making a natural landscape a veritable collection of life and beauty, crops and cultivations of inimitable splendor. A region rich in a faunal heritage with about 178 bird species among those surveyed that nest locally. Many of these considered of environmental importance are protected by the European Union. There are several birds of prey and corvids among which the solitary sparrow and the red-backed shrike stand out, as well as several blackbirds and nightingales. The numerous differences in height in the area lead between more or less difficult and tiring paths, to taste the best of local cuisine with vegetables and legumes superlative. The real gems of cuisine can be tasted at their best in the country inns where it is possible to taste wild chicory with mashed broad beans, fried artichokes or the famous pampasciuni, overbearing in their bitterish taste with a spicy aftertaste. Garlic rubbed on bruschetta is a sublime combination of authenticity and bold flavor, in which any tourist cannot help but get lost and find himself at the same time. Followed by a carrellate of vegetables and fresh cheeses, including mozzarella, burrata, pecorino and cacioricotta. Important first courses such as orecchiette with turnip tops or strascinati wholemeal pasta with broccoli and anchovies, sautéed in chilli pepper, are the authentic taste of what “someone” called Apulia Felix.