Suggestive routes in imperial Puglia
The historic streets of Europe are becoming a real attractor for the community of wayfarers from all over the continent, and this above all due to the enormous heritage that the paths tell, deliver and convey. Among these we point out the Fredericus Way in Puglia: it is one of the thematic itineraries, and starts from Gioia del Colle to arrive in Trani, affecting a route about two hundred kilometers long and divided into nine stages. The promoter of the project is the Aps Puglia Federiciana, active in the slow and green tourism-cultural sector. This evocative journey speaks of the history of Federico II: an occasion to rediscover the historical viability that crosses the Mediterranean territory, from the ancient Via Appia Traiana to the inaccessible medieval routes, up to the tratturi of transhumance. The route of emperors and warriors from the Roman period and pilgrims in the Christian era, it was also crossed by Byzantines and Normans, Swabians and Angevins, traveling from Rome to the Holy Land starting from the most important ports in Puglia.
This route starts from the Alta Murgia and touches the Adriatic Sea passing through Castel del Monte, a UNESCO site, a major tourist attraction, the main fulcrum of our project and one of the most recognizable and identifying symbols of the Swabian emperor. Path. As we said we are dealing with nine stages in the heart of Puglia Imperiale, from Gioia del Colle to Trani passing through Castel Del Monte: the Fredericus Way is an author’s journey between landscape, history, nature and traditions: two hundred kilometers of walk along mule tracks and unknown trails, rich in history and culture, to tell and live immersed in landscapes of rare beauty. Starting from the Byzantine origins of the castle of Gioia Del Colle to the woods of Cassano delle Murge passing from Altamura, up to the landscape of the rock habitat of Gravina in Puglia, we reach Poggiorsini with its invisible castle, the Garagnone: this marks the route of the journey which touches the Swabian network of castles, strategically located on the sides of the ancient Roman road, the Via Appia, one of the most important for trade and pilgrimage. The landscape. The path dives for most of the way into the Alta Murgia National Park, with the feeling of being in a large open space in which to wander with the look towards endless horizons characterized by the pungent smells of mint and wild thyme in the green intense wheat fields or rocky pastures, between the evident yellow of the ferula, and encountering orchids and falconer hawks. In this land, emperors, peasants, shepherds, woodsmen, along with the climate, have made the landscape and its culture unique.The climate. Average temperatures in winter record values of 1-6 ° C, in January there are negative minimums and snowfalls. In summer there are average temperatures around 30 ° C. Precipitation is abundant. All this makes this landscape remarkably dynamic, and there are two recommended seasons for setting out on this path: in spring, when it is possible to observe the bright blooms of wild tulips, gladioli and orchids in the intense green of the wheat fields or rocky pastures; and in autumn, when cyclamens and colchics color the bare stones of the rocky ridges and the numerous dry-stone walls.The stages from Gioia del Colle to Trani. This is an 80% hiking trail that can be traveled on foot or by bicycle on roads with low vehicular traffic, roads closed to traffic and country roads. The route is divided into stages on average twenty-two kilometers long. They are organized in such a way as to allow the walker / cyclist to make stops in places of refreshment or shorten the journey by staying in lodgings along the route. As fundamental characteristics of the stages are considered: length of the route; difficulty level; height difference (the sum of the slope up and down); the expected travel time; the type of road surface.