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Unique and Mysterious Ravines of Tarantino, Puglia

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Puglia Car Service: Come to Get Around the Ravines of the Tarantino

There are no similar phenomena In Italy. And to find something like this, you have to go to Turkey or Eastern countries. The Ionian area of ​​the Terra delle Gravine is one of the most evocative cultural areas of Puglia, less known to mass tourism though. And since it reminds the Cappadocia Fairy Chimneys or the rock houses of Georgia it can be a very pleasant discovery for the traveler. Extensive in the territory of twelve Municipalities of the province of Taranto and a Municipality of the province of Brindisi, for a total of about 28,000 hectares, the Terra delle Gravine Natural Park is characterized by deep rocky ravines of karstic origin, formed by the corrosive action of the waterways that start from the Murge plateau heading towards the sea. The caves set in the walls of the ravines were chosen for human settlement from the Neolithic period up to the 1950s, especially in the Middle Ages. In the evocative canyons carved into the rock, there are rocky villages, churches, crypts and sanctuaries which often have splendid Byzantine frescoes depicting the Virgin, Christ Pantocrator, Saints and Martyrs.

We should say that it takes 3 to 5 days to visit the ravines. Your private chauffeur service can take you to Villino Odaldo in Mottola, managed by an Italian family, where you can comfortably stay. The place has a small gravina, that is a residence of the early 1900 that has maintained the same charm and where the one has the feeling of being able to stop time. From here we start discovering the “caves of God” and the rocky villages where the peasants lived, to avoid the incursions of the Saracens coming from the sea. The nearest town is Mottola, a pretty and lively town famous for the quality and quantity of its sacred paintings that can be admired in its cave churches. About 2 km away from the village a monumental staircase carved into the tufa and surrounded by myrtle, mastic and carob trees, leads to the caves of the rock village of Petruscio, including the House of the Igumeno (spiritual head of the Eastern monks) and the rupestrian church indicated as Cathedral with the annexed necropolis that are worth seeing. The other must-visit sights are the splendid rock churches of San Nicola and San Gregorio in the other canyons, where the frescoes show you the stories of saints and the miracles.

Reliable Limo Service to Enjoy the Area

Before heading to the Palagianello ravine, stop for a food tasting at one of the farms where they  breed the murgese horses and podolic cows that live in the wild. The tasting of typical products is something not to be missed and the taste of mozzarella made of the rich cow milk is really divine. From there you move to Palagianello, where another tufa stairway leads to the rock sanctuary of the Madonna del Grazie. Stop to admire the castle of Caracciolo and then go for a wine tasting of delicious Petracavallo wines!

A stone’s throw away is Laterza, one of the largest canyons in Europe (it is 12 km long, 400 m wide and over 200 high), the result of the erosion the rise of the continents. The stone world of churches and caves mixed with the charming landscapes open up here.  But if the view of the ravine is not enough, visit the majolica museum which, with its pieces dating back to the 1600s, provides a fairly complete cross-section of the life in those centuries. Laterza majolica can be recognized thank to its typical ornament of blue daisies, widely used for decoration of large dishes and pots for pharmacies and herbalists.

The ravine of Ginosa then is a kind of condominium that overlooks the two slopes of the hill, with connection routes and water supply. While that of Massafra faces the shadow of the Sanctuary of the Madonna della Scala. In the main street of the historic center of Ginosa enter the tailor shop of Angelo Inglese famous for his tailored men’s shirts. Your limousine service tour ends in Grottaglie, where the ceramic workshops are located at every corner. Stop by the ceramist Franco Fasano and stare at the dishes that even Armani finds irresistible.


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