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Home - Bio Itinerario "La Via Traiana"
Nature - along the Trajan Way

The ancient Trajan Way crosses two protected natural areas: the Regional Park of Coastal Dunes from Torre Canne to Torre San Leonardo and the National Nature reserve and Protected Marine Area of Torre Guaceto both situated along the coastline between Fasano and Ostuni and then between Carovigno and Brindisi.

These two protected natural areas have some similar characteristics: both have an area of 1,100 hectares and run along 8 kms of coastline, and they are both defended by Aragonese look-out towers (Torre Guaceto and Torre San Leonardo). They both include coastal dunes and wetlands of great natural value, besides having a system of agriculture which takes care of the monumental olive groves and where the local farmers try out various forms of sustainable tourism and agriculture which can protect the agrarian landscape and its biodiversity. The freshwater springs in the wetlands of both protected areas are produced by underwater streams which run down from the hilly inland areas of the Murgia.

There are also many other sites of interest from an environmental point of view, both along the coast and inland and these are also placed under specific obligations. We mention for example the Sites of Community Importance in the Murgia of the Trulli (in Fasano); the mouth of the Giancola Canal (in Brindisi); the ponds and salt flats of Punta di Contessa (Brindisi)an area of special protection and a Regional Nature Park; the wood of Tramazzone (Brindisi) a Regional Nature Park, and the Wood of Santa Teresa e dei Lucci (Brindisi) a Regional Nature Reserve.

The stages of NATURE

Parco Naturale Regionale delle Dune Costiere da Torre Canne a Torre San Leonardo
Ostuni, c/o Municipio di Ostuni Piazza della Libertà
Tel.: 0831 307339
Fax: 0831 307364
Cell.: 348 1638228
Website: www.parcodunecostiere.org
e-mail: info@parcodunecostiere.org

The Park runs for about 9 kms along the coast, between the districts of Ostuni and Fasano and has an area of about 1,100 hectares. It stretches up into the plain of ancient olive groves following the course of some rain gulleys. In the protected area there are numerous habitats, from the long stretches of dunes covered with rare vegetation and juniper trees one moves to the pools behind the dunes where fragile habitats still survive playing host to many migratory birds. You can enjoy the area by means of its network of paths and walkways suspended between the pools which form part of an ancient system of fish farming which goes back to the 1800’s. From the ponds behind the dunes, we follow the paths and reach the fossil dunes with pseudosteppe and the agricultural areas with its arable fields and monumental olive groves.Here is possible to visit historic manor farmhouses and medieval underground olive-presses. The age-old olive groves are interrupted by deep cuts into the limestone called ‘lame’ or rain gulleys which run down to the sea.

The visitors’ centre is housed in the old station of Fontevecchia, in the midst of olive groves and which you can reach from the Trajan Way. From the Park House a network of paths begin so that you can walk or cycle and thus get to know the environment of the Park.
The agrarian part of the park is at the centre of projects to protect the cultivations with organic methods.
 

Parco Naturale Regionale Salina di Punta Della Contessa
Brindisi, -
Tel.: 0831 229309
Fax: 0831 560715
Cell.: -
Website: -
e-mail: -

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Riserva Naturale dello Stato e Area Marina Protetta di Torre Guaceto
Carovigno, S.S. 379 Bari-Lecce uscita Serranova
Tel.: 0831 989885
Fax: 0831 989976
Cell.: 348 0391539
Website: www.riservaditorreguaceto.it
e-mail: info@riservaditorreguaceto.it

The protected natural area, which forms part of the districts of Carovigno and Brindisi, include both a Protected Marine Area and a Land Reserve. The ‘prairies’ of Posidonia and the formation of precoralline habitats are the most important elements to be found in the PMA. The Land Reserve is already a Site of Community Importance (SCI) for the numerous habitats and it is also a Zone of Special Protection (ZSP) for the many species of birds which stop and nest there. It is made of long stretches of dunes, extensive areas of wetlands and a scrub of mediterranean maquis and holm oak woods.
The agricultural area of the park is at the centre of projects to protect the cultivations with organic methods.

On the beach of Punta Penna Grossa, the group which presides over the reserve also runs an organic café. This is a positive model for the promotion of organic agricultural products from the Reserve.
 

Cycle routes

The Trajan Way linked with the railway network of Trenitalia passes through the towns of Fasano, Ostuni, Carovigno, San Vito dei N.nni and Brindisi. The stations of these towns show great potential in promoting alternative forms of tourism in order to slowly discover the fascinating qualities of this area in a sustainable way, by using the combination of train and bike. Cycle paths have already been realised in the area, with the aim of linking the environmental and cultural resources to be found in the area using the humble bicycle.

Furthermore, the Regional Nature Park of Coastal Dunes, which was recently granted a national Friends of the Bike award by Euromobility, together with the town of Ostuni is investing in ‘slow’ tourism and they are restoring the roadman’s house which belonged to the National Roadway Association with the aim of becoming a Bike Hotel to offer hospitality to biking tourists who visit the towns and the rural area of this territory.

Among the 14 long distance cycle routes that cross Italy, making up more than 15,000 kms of roads, the region of Apulia, which with the Cy.Ro.N.Med project – Cycle Route Network of the Mediterranean, has set out a network of cycle routes which run through the various landscapes of Apulia for more than 1,600 kms and which connects with the european network of cycle routes and with the countries of the balkans and the mediterranean.

The Trajan Way makes up part of Cycle Route N° 6 of BicItalia (also called the Adriatic Way) which unwinds along the whole of the Adriatic Coast from Lesina to the Cape of Santa Maria di Leuca, touching the main coastal towns of Puglia. It is 680 kms long. Along the Bio-trail there are two possible available routes, which are about 111 kms in length: the first route runs along the coastal provincial road SP 90, which leads to Savelletri and then to Torre Canne and then turns inland towards Pozzo Faceto following the Provincial road SP 6; while the second route passes in front of the excavations of Egnazia, crosses the plain of olive trees and reaches Pezze di Greco and from there goes on to Pozzo Faceto. Afterwards it crosses the plain of Ostuni  following its internal road routes and, after running along a brief stretch of the provincial road SP 19 turns back near to the coast, running along the road which runs parallel to the state road SS 16. From the district of Carovigno it leaves the parallel coast road and moves towards the existing cycle route in the district of Brindisi and finally enters into the provincial capital.

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