Stretching from the Adriatic coast to the uplands of Lucania, the Alta Murgia National Park is home to Italy’s last example of Mediterranean steppe.
The plateau, which is largely made up of limestone and tufa rock and clay deposits, abounds with mushrooms, tassel hyacinths, wild asparagus, and king trumpet mushrooms.
The greenery is dotted with drystone constructions, once used to pen animals during the seasonal transhumance. Imposing and majestic masserie, some of which are fortified like true castles, were the vibrant centres of the local agricultural economy from the 15th century onwards.
The Park’s crowning glory is Castel del Monte, the mysterious castle built by Frederick II, the “Stupor mundi” (“Wonder of the World”), as a hunting lodge, and which once teemed with falconers and wild game.
With its rocky formations, thick forests, and vast expanses of steppe, the Alta Murgia National Park boasts barren pasture land where moss and lichen grow, and an undergrowth rich in wild orchids and dog-roses. There are also many indigenous animal species, including the lesser kestrel, which has come to symbolize the Park.
Take the A14 highway Bologna – Bari, and turn off at one of the following exits: Canosa di Puglia, Andria-Trani, Molfetta, Bitonto, Bari-Nord, Bari-Sud, or Gioia del Colle. Then follow one of the various roads that leads toward the towns of the Murgia. The Park’s administrative centre is in Gravina in Puglia, at Via Firenze n. 10; the Visitor Centre is in Ruvo di Puglia, at Via Valle Noè n. 5.
Via Firenze 10 70024 Gravina in Puglia +390803743487 +393392063223 Write us
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