Minervino Murge

Minervino Murge

Thursday 10 March 2022

Minervino Murge is located on the last limestone step towards the Ofanto basin and enjoys a privileged view of the Alta Murgia National Park, for this reason it is nicknamed "Balcony of Puglia". The history of the inhabited center has very ancient origins, some findings document that the territory was already inhabited in 2000 BC, but a romantic legend has it that the city was founded by a legionnaire, who survived the battle of Canne, and by a young shepherdess i which celebrated their marriage in the current Grotta di San Michele.

Today Minervino Murge is a small town surrounded by green hills, with cold winters but very pleasant summers refreshed by crisp and clean air. To visit the small historic center you have to go up and down stairs, ladders, alleys and streets, but it is that pleasant activity that allows you to breathe deeply and throw away the smog of the city environments. There are many beautiful architectures in the historic center, with a single common thread: the stone typical of the Murgese area, which makes the ground so harsh, but which, when worked by skilled hands, produces fine architecture.

This stone is found, widely used, in the Scesciola the highest and oldest part of the historic center; it covers the long stairways, is the protagonist in the stone arches and embellishes the facades of the buildings together with wrought iron, white sheets spread out in the sun and red cherry tomatoes set to dry.

Lady of the historic center is the Cathedral dedicated to the Assumption of the Virgin with a severe stone facade softened by a Romanesque rose window and a beautiful 17th century central door. The treasures of the historic center continue with the Church of San Francesco which houses a beautiful baroque canopy in gilded wood. Rich paintings can be admired in the Church of San Michele, while the Church of the Immaculate Conception contains an elegant stone crypt. Perhaps all this going up and down through the historic center and the fresh air will whet your appetite, certainly passing in front of a restaurant you will be able to perceive inviting scents and then take a well-deserved break to appreciate the many specialties of the territories, all genuine. Meats, cheeses, oil and good wine are the perfect ingredients to regain strength and continue.

The stop in Piazza Bovio is certainly ideal for enjoying a good coffee and enjoying the view of the buildings of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries that surround it, a few steps and you can easily reach the castle. The castle has Norman origins but over time it has been extensively modified and today houses the archaeological museum, a small casket of vases, paintings, terracotta, jars, stone tools, exhibited with refined settings for an easy reading of the finds. Although it might seem strange, in Minervino Murge there is a lighthouse! It is a monument erected in 1932 to exalt fascism and its fallen. The monument is located inside a beautiful and well-kept town villa, surrounded by pines, flower beds and comfortable seats, perfect for admiring the viewpoint over the hills. Inside the villa there are small bars with tables that could suggest something more than a short stop!

Walking through the historic center you can enjoy small glimpses of the surrounding countryside but from Piazza Gramsci you can enjoy a breathtaking view of Mount Vulture. At the end of the visit to the city, it would be advisable to enter a territory so suggestive and rich in historical testimonies such as the beautiful rock church of San Michele, a real cave into which you descend along a staircase of ninety steps carved in the Murgese stone. until you reach a presbytery with four columns and a tombstone from the Roman-Imperial age. Also particular is the grotto of the Madonna del Sabato. Easily, you reach the Acquatetta wood, the second wood in Puglia rich in conifers, oaks, cypresses, asparagus plants and cyclamen which during flowering characterize the whole area with their colors, this territory is widely used by those who love running and trekking and this is also a great way to do some sightseeing.

Wineries to visit


Giancarlo Ceci

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