We are in the Alta Murgia, in the countryside of Spinazzola, precisely in Contrada Macchia. The vastness of the landscape that welcomes us is interrupted by a monumental construction, a work of great impact but perfectly integrated into the surrounding landscape. We are talking about the Bridge of 21 arches, a viaduct built between 1889 and 1891 to connect Gioia del Colle to Rocchetta Sant’Antonio through the train tracks, a link between Puglia and Basilicata. The bridge is 250 meters long and 15 meters high, built on 21 round arches supported by imposing pillars. In 2011, having in the meantime improved the communication routes on tires, the section was discontinued, as it was considered "uneconomical" by the Italian Railway Network.
Until that date, therefore, it was possible to cross this wonderful bridge by train, enjoying a unique view of the Murgiano Plateau. Now that the trains no longer pass by, it is possible to walk these 250 meters of pure beauty, admiring from above a fascinating landscape that takes on different colors according to the seasons, from the intense green of spring and autumn to the dazzling golden yellow of ripe wheat in the summer.
Walking on the bridge you almost have the feeling of being suspended in space and time, between the green plains of the bradanic foreland, the tectonic depression that extends from Termoli to the Gulf of Taranto, and the rocky landscapes of the Southern Apennines. From this privileged perspective, it is possible to admire spectacular sunsets over the fields below. At the beginning of summer, the wind that always blows here brings with it the scent of ripe wheat ears and it is not uncommon to spot examples of lesser kestrel hawks in the sky hunting their prey among the ears.
A show that enchants for the intensity of the colors and above all for the silence that surrounds the bridge that allows us to really get in tune with nature.
cover photo: Ph @ steno_75