[Get to know MEDUSA's territories] On two wheels through Puglia - Cycling across a Natural Park
This article forms part of a series of publications under MEDUSA project to promote less-known natural and cultural touristic assets in our partner territories Jordan, Lebanon, Tunisia, Puglia (Italy) and Catalonia (Spain). Enjoy reading and hope to welcome you soon at one of the wonderful places you will get to know here.
The Regional Natural Park of Coastal Dunes from Torre Canne to Torre San Leonardo in Puglia was established in 2006 with the aim to preserve habitat and animal and vegetal species indicated by the EU Directives as well as to safeguard landscape values and ecological balance. The Park is characterized by a great diversity of natural and semi-natural landscapes articulated in a system of coastal dunes, wetlands and fossil dunes interconnected from the hydro-geo-morphological and ecological-naturalist point of view. From the cultural point of view, the ancient Roman road Via Traiana crosses the natural protected area and runs to the port of Brindisi. Today this itinerary is signaled as long-distance cycling trail (itinerary n. 6 of Bicitalia) and represents the main track of Southern Via Francigena. This precious natural and cultural landscape acquired, in the last few years, more value thanks to the several activities promoted by the Park with the promotion of slow mobility, new infrastructures for sustainable tourism, informative panels and signals along the truck stops.
Following Via Traiana, you can venture by bike in a rural context characterized by the ancient piana degli ulivi (plain of olive trees), with numerous masserie (old farm houses), lame (small erosive furrows, typical of the Apulian countryside), megalithic constructions such as the Dolmen of Montalbano (II millennium b.C), rock dwellings, rural churches and stables. Through several sheep-tracks, it is possible to reach a secondary itinerary of Via Francigena that runs along the sea and its beautiful beaches. Among the key infrastructures along the trail, there is the Albergabici “Traiana Bed and Bike” that supports the slow and sustainable mobility. The structure represents one of the first “bed & bike” realities in Puglia, is labeled with Federazione Italiana Amici della Bicicletta (Italian Federation of Bike Friends) and is part of the Italian and European network of structures equipped with facilities for cycling tourists. The Traiana Bed and Bike involves an info-point, 20 beds, a kitchen, breakfast and video-conference room in addition to a series of services for cyclists such as cycle park, workshop for repair, cycle wash and Bicigrill. The structure is 3 km far from the train station of Cisternino (Pozzo Faceto) and 15 km far from those of Fasano and Ostuni, important joints for the train-bike inter-modality.