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414 m
129 m
0
7,0
14
28,06 km

Vista 1143 veces, descargada 54 veces

preto de Laterza, Puglia (Italia)

This is the ninth stage of the Via Appia by foot, from the town of Laterza of the well known town of Matera.

Link to Stage 07: http://www.wikiloc.com/wikiloc/view.do?id=15226047
Link to Stage 09: http://www.wikiloc.com/wikiloc/view.do?id=15571214

The track follows the Via Appia Antica loosely as it's not possible to hike the original route anymore. In large part because the old road have been upgraded over the centuries and is now a highway in some section or a main provincial road where cars are speeding by you. In other sections, the road is simply gone. Instead, I've searched for nice roads, a little away from any main roads where there is a lot less traffic (or none at all).

Strictly speaking, Matera is not a regular stop on the Via Appia Antica, but the distance to Gravina in Puglia is too much for a day hike, the track rather boring and along main roads and Matera is just a well know ancient city, so I decided to include Matera in this version of the Via Appia on foot.

Please note that there will be no shops along the track, so make sure you have enough to drink and eat on this longer journey. There is also a significant descent and climb half-way this track, so don't underestimate this track and possibly consider a day off once you get to Matera to enjoy the city and recuperate.

The track starts in the centre of Laterza, but soon you'll let Laterza behind you and walk through the fields and, as much as possible, follow unpaved or quiet roads.

At 8.7 km, you'll leave civilization behind for a while when you take a left turn on the road. From here, almost all the way to the Matera, you'll not be seeing any houses and are unlikely to see anyone else.

Around 12.9 km, you'll leave the dirt road for and follow a track around the marked farm, until you get back to the dirt road. You can probably also walk past the farm house, but I'm not sure about dogs around this farm.

Once you're back on the dirt road, it descents all the way down until you'll come to a bridge that crosses the river. This might be a good place for break and to let your feet recover a bit in the cold water. After this point, you'll be climbing up again. Pass the abandoned farmhouse and walk over the old train bridge. Just after the bridge, you'll take a right turn and climb up the hill.

Around 17,2 km, you'll see a large metal cross. The track follows a track to the left at this point, but you may to consider following the track on the right side of the cross, taking you (a little) down and along the edge of the gorge. It's worth a visit, but will take you some extra time and energy to visit this side track. Here you'll find an old settlement with houses and even a church, all cut out of the mountain. If you follow along the gorge, you'll eventually get out of the gorge and back on the top of the hill. You can follow a parallel track and will later on merge onto the indicated track.

As you get closer to Matera, you'll get to see more and more of the famous gorge.

Around 24 km, you'll find the first fountain. You are now already in town and soon will find plenty of places with food and drinks.

The next part of the trail, follows the tourist track along the gorge with the famous gorge and rock houses.

At around 25,8 km, you'll leave the gorge behind and follow the track further down town. The track ends at a bus stop used by long distance busses.

SITA Sud (the local bus company), provides a regular bus schedule back to Laterza and other towns all the way to Taranto from the Piazza Visitazione. To get there, make a left turn at end of the Via Pentasuglia (at 26.3 km), instead of a right turn and follow the Via Alessio de Sariis for around 700 meter to the Piazza.

Enjoy the trail end leave a comment. In particular if you know some interesting way points should be included or an alternate track that could/should be used. Any information is much appreciated.
Waypoint

Starting point in Laterza

fuente

Fountain

A bit late on the track, but the first point with potable water.
Waypoint

Start Matera

Around this point, you'll be entering Matera
Ruinas

Cave Houses

Here you'll find houses built into the walls of the gorge, including a church
Ponte

Bridge

This is an essential bridge to cross and the only safe way to pass the gorge
Parada de autobús

Bus Stop

This bus stop is used by several long distance bus services.

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