An itinerary for the youngA tour by car, motor-bike or better, a motor home, which could last even one month, could bemore suitable to the young or to young families.It would give visitors the chance to choose stopovers at leisure, to get the utmost enjoyment of thelandscapes and, thanks to the independence of mobility, it would give the possibility of gainingaccess to remote spots and less known places of the region (those who like cycling touring couldchoose instead a segment of this long itinerary – or special cycling routes as the “The Route of theBourbons” - while those who have a sailing boat could of course have a wonderful cruise alongApulian shores, there a lot of ports along them!).This itinerary is targeted at the young or at young families with children who are not of age, andattaches importance to naturalist, fun and leisure attractions.N.B. Any facility has been mentioned only as a piece of advice and without any advertising purpose.Let’s start our tour from the Gargano Promontory and, after settling in a camping-site near theLakes Lesina and Varano, enjoy this area for at least one day, fishing eels or sea bass. Take theS.S. 89 coastline road which unfolds for about Km.100 along enchanting villages and fromwhich you can see stunning views. From Peschici to Vieste in particular, you will notice typicalwooden buildings from which nets are hung for fishing, the trabucchi. Spend at least half daylaying on one of its beaches and then get a motor-boat to spend a couple of days in anothercamping of the Tremiti Islands, where you could reach the island of S. Domino or the island of S.Nicola to admire their awe-inspiring caves, bays or to do underwater fishing. Views of the Gargano rugged coastsReach the Foresta Umbra, in the heart of the Gargano National Park, a natural reserve whose floraand fauna are varied and unique; there are in fact 170 different species of birds and over 2,200botanical species, and along its paths you can meet roe deer, badgers, foxes, mouflons, cows(from which a famous cheese, the caciocavallo podolico, is obtained) while in the enclosed faunaarea you can admire fallow deer. About 10 km. far from Monte Sant’Angelo stands the abbey ofSanta Maria di Pulsano. In this secluded area 23 hermitages were built in VI century by Turkishmonks dedicated to ascetism.
A bird’s eye view of the abbey of Santa Maria di Pulsano – A hermitageYou had better stay at a farmhouse of the Daunian Subappenines to enjoy this area for a coupleof days. Visit its woods: Salecchio, unspoilt kingdom of haws and wild boars, Faeto, of Europeanimportance for its numerous springs, Paduli di Accadia, paradise of asparagi. Spend a day in itsnice little villages such as Faeto, Bovino, Orsara, etc. At Orsara there is a bread oven which datesback to 1520 and which is fed with straw.Drive (or ride) to Siponto and choose another camping-site in this sandy area for a few days. Spendone day at the Ippocampo aquatic park - one of Apulian fun parks - and another one then forvisiting the Lake Salso Oasis, where the endangered whitehead duck is protected, and thesurroundings of Margherita di Savoia’s saltpans, where you can watch other birds, flamingos inparticular. Enjoy the beach during the rest of time of your stay in this area. The Ippocampo Aquatic Park – Flamingos in the area surrounding Margherita di Savoia’s saltpansMove then to the hinterland, to the Higher Murge - where flower lovers can see wonderful wildorchids (50 species live in the area of Poggiorsini), birdwatchers can see some species of birdswhich are going to extinguish and in autumn mushrooms searchers can go in search of the so-calledcardoncelli, a kind of tasty mushroom which well represent the rich Apulian cuisine. Rare animalsas foxes, crows, hares, owls, larks, hawks, the endangered otter etc. live in this area; you can stayat the farmhouse Il Cardinale at Poggiorsini, a quiet place where you can live in touch with natureand taste typical food. From this place you can easily reach the mysterious octagonal UnescoWorld Heritage site of Castel del Monte. In the area surrounding the town of Spinazzola rise theruins of the Castle of Garagnone, which was originally built during the Norman Empire right onthe top of the rock and made out of the local stone so as not to stand out in the landscape and be
therefore safer against attacks. The ruins of the Castle of GaragnoneAnd if you like good-quality wines, 5 km. far from the castle, there is an old XVII centuryconvent which has been turned in a famous winery called Torrevento.You could move to a B&B to enjoy for a few days a bathing establishment of the coast north ofBari, so as to visit one of the middle-sized towns of the area, Trani, Molfetta or Giovinazzo. Inthe afternoon you can admire one of their splendid Romanesque Cathedrals, or wander around thenarrow winding streets of one of their cosy medieval historical centres. In Molfetta’s surroundingsyou might visit a theme park, Miragica, you can and in the night eat in the bustling town centreof Giovinazzo or Trani or if you like dancing, you can go to one of Italy’s biggest discotheque, LeDivinae Follie, at the edge of the wonderful seafront of Bisceglie.You can also visit the Grottoes of Molfetta’s Neolithic dolina, the Pulo or a dolmen in Bisceglie’ssurroundings and, if you like this countryside landscape, tour it so as to see centuries-old olivetrees, almond trees, fortified farmhouses, look-out towers, rural churches, pagliari (smallbuildings used for keeping farmers’ tools), oil-mills, votive chapels, millstones, public storage tanksand water wheels (which were driven by horses or donkeys for drawing water fromunderground). A fortified farmhouse drawn by Antonietta Urbano - class IV E IGEA -- A century-old olive tree
Stop-over in Bari to see the Basilica of St. Nicholas, have a stroll along its seafront and itsregularly planned Murat’s neighbourhood with its elegant shops. Go to Piazza Mercantile, the heartof its so-called movida, to enjoy a home-made ice-cream or a drink.Move to another accommodation facility before visiting Polignano, the scenic beautiful townwhere the singer Domenico Modugno was born and from whose cliffs people dive (but you mustbe a real expert diver if you want to do it! yourself) and then head for Alberobello, to see its cone-shaped houses, the trulli. After visiting the Grottoes of Castellana, you could spend half day atIndiana Park, the adventure fun park of this town and if you or your children want to have morefun, on the following day go to Fasano, where there is the Zoosafari, a park with 200 species ofanimals and Fasanolandia, an adjoining fun park with rubber dinghy aquatic paths, roller coasters,flat rides and , free fall towers.In this area you might also visit a WWF oasis, Torre Guaceto where, besides the maquis, there isa marshy area where rare birds nest and a marine reserve where dolphins and loggerhead turtleslive. WWF Oasis of Mellitto: vegetation - A guide is describing the maquis of the Monte Sant’Elia WWF OasisHundreds of kilometres of coasts are still to be driven or ridden: if you decide to head for theprovince of Taranto, apart from stopping-over at the Aragonese castle of this province capitalcity, you should also spend a couple of days on one of the sandy beaches of its most renownedseaside resorts (Marina di Pulsano, Marina di Ginosa, Castellaneta Marina or Riva deiTessali, famous for its golf courses). You might also visit two WWF oases: Monte Sant’Elia, withits maquis and La Vela - where migrant birds as herons and storks can be watched. In thehinterland, in an area of steep ravines, another naturalistic area is the birdwatching reserve ofLaterza, cared for by the LIPU, an Italian association for the protection of birds.If you move to the Salento area, you can choose, among endless seaside resorts where tourists flockin summer, in a camping-site of the Alimini Lakes area and go for excursions to Lecce, the Apuliancapital city of the Baroque style, to Gallipoli, whose old town stands out on a promontory, andother naturalistic areas such as the WWF Oasis of Le Cesine, or Porto Cesareo where besides amarine reserve there area karstic grottoes (the spunnulate) in which salted waters mix with freshwater generating a particular type of vegetation. You might also head for Acaya, a unique exampleof a Southern Italian fortified town, dating back to the Aragonese period.In Salento you can also spend some hours at an hypogeum oil mill - whose oil is particularly tastybecause millstones are placed in an underground room where temperature is constant.
Acaya Morciano: hypogeum oil-millAnd if you come in summer, do not lose at least one of the evenings dedicated to the pizzica folkdance, especially the most spectacular Apulian folk event, the Notte della Taranta, which is held atMelpignano at the end of August. On that occasion young people jump and whirl all night long,entranced by the rhythm of this captivating Apulian music.