The Altopiano delle Murge - Murge Plateau
Updated: Feb 15
The Slow Travel Way
Photo by parcoaltamurgia.gov.it
The Altopiano delle Murge "Murge plateau" is a karst topographic plateau of rectangular shape in southern Italy.
Most of it lies within Apulia and corresponds with the sub-region known as Murgia or Le Murge.
The plateau lies mainly in the Metropolitan City of Bari and the province of Barletta-Andria-Trani, but extends into the provinces of Brindisi and Taranto to the south; and into Matera in Basilicata to the west.
The name is believed to originate from the Latin murex, meaning "sharp stone".
Photo by e-borghi.com - Locorotondo
The Murge plateau covers a surface of some 4,000 km², bordered by the Ofanto river and the Tavoliere delle Puglie to the north, the Adriatic Sea to the northeast, and by the Messapic depression, which separates it from the Salento peninsula, to the south.
It is usually divided into Alta Murgia (High Murgia), the highest area, with poorer vegetation, and Bassa Murgia (Lower Murgia), with more fertile land, extensively planted with olive-trees for the production of olives.
Historically, the Murge have been the seat of transhumance practice in animal husbandry, since at least the first millennium BC, with cattle being moved to Abruzzo in summer, and southwards during winter.
Until the 19th century, agriculture was characterized by large latifundia, owned by a few landowners, and the relative lack of water, forming part of a region sometimes called "the feudal South".
Present-day economic activities include marble quarries, and the production of olives, wine, almonds, cherries, and mulberries. The animals grazed include sheep, goats, domestic pigs, and cattle.
Tourism and small industries (such as construction materials and bottling) are also active.
The position and the peculiarities of the National Park give to travelers the chance to admire incredible landscapes at sunrise or sunset.
Photo by Pasquale Redavid
Many photographers come to the Alta Murgia for this purpose, if you take your time you will shoot great pics. Landscapes, vegetation and animals are often the perfect subjects, not just for landscape photos, but also for macro and details.
Photo by Pasquale Redavid
Hiking and trekking across the Alta Murgia Hills
Photo by wineandtravelitaly.com
These hills have a lot to offer to travelers. Indeed, they are also a very interesting location for trekking and hiking lovers.
Walking or cycling through the land is an awesome and authentic experience.
On your way you will meet and see lots Masseria(s): an old farm where in the old days farmers lived and worked.
Nowadays these structures are part of the Apulian culture and patrimony and many of them have been transformed in luxury restaurants and resorts.
Normally, people who likes practice trekking or cycling loves to experience the Murgia Park. This slow travel way is perfect to enjoy its natural beauties.