Minervino Murge: 5 things not to miss from the Balcony of Apulia
Minervino Murge is in Puglia (Italy) and it lies on two hills of the Alta Murgia, about 450 meters above sea level. Due to its geographical position it is called the “balcony of Puglia”. The view from Minervino is in fact very extensive, from one side it is possible to look out over the Murgian landscape and widen the view up to the Gargano promontory and the sea. On the other side, the panorama overlooks endless cultivated fields up to the nearby region of Basilicata, and to Mount Vulture, an extinct volcano that now hosts the Monticchio lakes and dense woods.
Here are the places from which to admire these views:
- The viewpoint of Piazza Gramsci
- The Villa Faro viewpoint
- Provincial road 155 from the intersection with Viale di Vittorio (and if you feel like walking for about 2.5 km), the Murgia hill behind the town
- The Lama Matitani path, starting from via Fratelli Rosselli
La Scesciola and the districts of the historic center
La Scesciola is the name of the oldest part of the historic center, characterized by its tangle of narrow streets, flights of stairs and alleys and the old white washed houses. Along the way you can get lost between views of the Murgia, tuff arches, ancient vineyards and, with a little luck, the sight of the lesser kestrel that glides over the hills.
If you like stairs then you just have to discover other characteristic districts, such as: Belvedere district, Zingari district, S. Arcangelo district.
The Grotto of San Michele
It is located in a particularly beautiful position, at the foot of the town, severely set in stone and preserving the mixed signs of nature, history and faith.
The large karst cavity has been a place of worship for millennia, the neoclassical door leads to a long staircase that descends to a small temple with an altar dedicated to the archangel Michael.
The Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta is located at the gates of the Scesciola. It was built between 1500 and 1600 in the Apulian Romanesque style, with three naves and the Latin cross shape. It houses the “black crucifix”, a wooden crucifix still considered miraculous by many in Minervino.
The Sanctuary of the Madonna del Sabato, protector of the town, is located 1 kilometer from the inhabited center, it is a place much loved by the people of Minervino. In the original cave it houses a fresco of the Virgin with the child, probably the work of the shepherds on their seasonal path.
The church of the Madonna della Croce, near the Grotta di San Michele, consists of a single nave and contains numerous popular frescoes representing images of the saints.
Minervino Murge is a town with a predominantly agricultural vocation: extra virgin olive oil, wine, almonds, turnip greens, cardoncelli mushrooms, lampagioni are typical of this land.
Among the dairy delights you can taste are the pecorino canestrato, the ricotta, the scamorze, while for meat lovers we suggest tasting our sausage, seasoned with fennel, lamb and the typical roulades or “braciole” of horse meat. Among the desserts, try the almond-based desserts, vincotto and even the typical Christmas ones.
Where to taste and buy local products
There are many restaurants and trattorias where you can stop to taste traditional dishes but also revisited recipes, and here we will mention just a few: La Tradizione, Cantina Brandi, Taverna Garibaldi, A Sud dell’Anima.
Even the shops are the right place to stock up on local products: Terra Terrae is a specialty shop, the Giorgio bakery and Balzano bakery for bread and “focaccia”, for pork sausage the cooperative butchery Carmine Giorgio, for meat horse the Renna butcher shop, for the dairy specialties the Latteria del Corso and the Cooperativa Maggiulli, for the fresh and dry pastries the Pasticceria Schiraldi.
Among the companies that do direct agricultural product sales we point out the Terradiva organic farm for extra virgin olive oil, almonds and Apulian taralli with almond flour, the San Michele cooperative winery, and Il Grillaio brewery for craft beer.
What to explore around Minervino Murge:
Inland, to immerse yourself in the Murgia area
- in the immediate surroundings, the Alta Murgia National Park, with his mysterious jazzi, woods and karst cavities > find out more
- 16 km Canosa di Puglia and its archaeological treasures > find out more
- 20 km Castel del Monte, the marvelous architecture of Frederick II of Swabia > find out more
- 47 km Gravina in Puglia, with his rocky structures both above and underground > find out more
- 74 km Matera, city of the Sassi cave complex and European Capital of Culture 2019 > find out more
on the Adriatic coast, to enjoy the sea breeze
- 35 km from Barletta, the city of the famous renaissance Duel (Disfida di Barletta), of the impressionist painter De Nittis, with a lively historic center > find out more
- at 41 km the fascinating salt pans of Margherita di Savoia > find out more
- 48 km Trani, with the basilica overlooking the sea, the port and the elegant historic center > find out more
- 71 km Giovinazzo, a characteristic medieval and seaside village > find out more
Transfers to and from Minervino Murge
The closest airport is Bari “Karol Wojtyla” about 1 hour by car.
on the train
The Trenitalia railway station of Minervino Murge is 1.3 km on foot or 6 minutes by car or city bus (Sassi autolinee) from the accommodation. Direct train connections are from / to the nearby towns: Barletta, Canosa di Puglia, Spinazzola.
With the STP bus lines it is possible to reach Bari, Andria, Trani, Bisceglie, Molfetta, Giovinazzo, Margherita di Savoia.
With Marino buses you can reach Rome, Naples, Milan, Bologna, Florence and many other cities in Italy.
We suggest that you ask for information on timetables and bus ticket purchases, as well as on the websites indicated, also at the “Nezi” newsstand in Piazza Bovio 6, telephone number: (+39)0883 692133.
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