Traveling on foot offers the opportunity to get in touch with the true essence of the landscape, to fully appreciate its nature and history. The journey is an instrument of knowledge and growth and is above all the sharing of experiences and emotions with travel companions who can become true companions in life . Walking to reach distant destinations represents an opportunity to listen to our souls far from the harmful frenzy of modernity, immersed in the contemplation of the landscape where slowness becomes the true destination and the key to understanding oneself and the surrounding world.
A destination that fascinates for its uniqueness is Matera, a UNESCO World Heritage Site: the rocky landscape of the Sassi, inhabited since the Palaeolithic period in a broad sense, represents the cradle of mankind and the path that the man has walked through time in extraordinary harmony with the environment and as such it is a place worthy of pilgrimage.
A group of enthusiasts has identified the routes used in the past to reach the Matera, the town made of stone caves, converting them into the most interesting itineraries from a landscape and historical point of view, and suitable for walking along roman secondary roads, medieval streets, sheep tracks and paths far from the roads furrowed by the tires of the cars. Currently, only two paths are open and can be traveled independently: the Via Hellenica, from Brindisi to Matera and the Via Peuceta, from Bari to Matera.
Authors of this precious contribution are: Angelofabio Attolico, Claudio Focarazzo, Lorenzo Lozito, Onofrio di Lorenzo di Initinere Association for social promotion. The group, very active in promoting the culture of travel on foot, after a series of checks proceeded to signal the paths they identified, using simple signage of low impact such as stickers, wooden signs and painted arrows, designed on the walls .
The Hellenic route from Brindisi to Matera
The Via Hellenica that connects Brindisi to Matera is signposted in both directions with a yellow arrow in the direction to Matera and with the green arrow in the direction to Brindisi: the path of 290 km in total can be covered in 15 days. It goes through a wonderful landscape connecting two UNESCO sites, the Sassi of Matera and the Trulli of Alberobello, and across the villages and countryside of the Valle d’Itria, and the Parco delle Gravine, an extraordinary open-air museum of rock and prehistoric civilization. A stretch of the route is runs above the Apulian aqueduct, a cycle path immersed in the countryside of the Valle d’Itria dotted with trulli houses.
The signs are frequent, every 300-500 meters, and it is also available to download the tracks in gpx format to be able to keep the track without the possibility of getting lost. per poter mantenere il tracciato senza possibilità di perdersi.
Some pictures along taken along the Hellenic Route
Stops and Walking time
First leg: BRINDISI-SERRANOVA, 26,26km, walking time: 7.30 h
Second leg: SERRANOVA-CAROVIGNO, 13,50km, walking time: 3h
Third leg: CAROVIGNO-OSTUNI, 20km, walking time: 5.00h
Fourth leg: OSTUNI-CISTERNINO, 19,5km – walking time: 5.00h
Fifth leg: CISTERNINO-LOCOROTONDO, 17,50 km, walking time: 4.30h
Sixth leg: LOCOROTONDO-ALBEROBELLO, 23km – walking time: 6.00h
Seventh leg: ALBEROBELLO-MARTINA FRANCA, 19km – walking time: 5.00h
Eighth leg: MARTINA FRANCA-CRISPIANO, 27,4km – walking time: 6.30h
Ninth leg: CRISPIANO-MASSAFRA, 17,50km, walking time: 5.00h
Tenth leg: MASSAFRA-MOTTOLA, 18,70km, walking time: 5.00h
Eleventh leg: MOTTOLA-PALAGIANELLO-CASTELLANETA, 16,5km, walking time: 5.30h
Twelfth leg: CASTELLANETA-LATERZA, 24,00km, walking time: 4.00h
Thirteenth leg: LATERZA-GINOSA, 13,70km, walking time: 4.00h
Fourteenth leg: GINOSA-MONTESCAGLIOSO, 14,3km – walking time: 4.00h
Fifteenth leg: MONTESCAGLIOSO-MATERA, 18,80km, walking time: 5.00h