Puglia is the perfect holiday destination with your animal friends. Characteristic countries, countryside and olive groves as far as the eye can see, ancient and fascinating farms and a sea that is the envy of many other regions: Puglia really offers a several landscapes and opportunities. Here are some indications to start planning your holiday…
ITINERARIES TOWARDS PUGLIA
- On the Pirro canal between the Trulli
Not mountain trails, or sandy beaches. Not small churches or castles, nor lakes or rivers. This route winds along a completely unique route: the Apulian aqueduct, the largest aqueduct in the world. Fifteen kilometers suspended over water, as if by magic, and immersed in the Apulian countryside among trulli, farms, grazing animals and canals. By car you reach Putignano and from here you follow the signs for Alberobello (the famous town of trulli) along the SS172: after less than 10 km, you finally leave the car in a parking area to walk with your faithful friend on a leash, towards the itinerary. Back a few meters, the route begins along the ancient Apulian aqueduct.
After about 2 km suspended over the water, cross the road that connects Castellana Grotte to Alberobello; then, following a sheep track that leads to a farm, you arrive on the road that leads from Alberobello to Coreggia. The itinerary plunges into oak and holm oak woods, passing over masonry bridges, including the one overlooking the canal of Pirro’s. The landscape becomes more and more fascinating, between cultivated fields, vineyards and trulli to finally arrive, after about 8 km, at the monumental 20-meter bridge, from which a breathtaking panorama can be admired. Arriving at San Marco, follow the SP81 that runs along the bottom of the Pirro canal towards Castellana, Putignano or Alberobello.
- In the Gargano forest
The S528 state road flows into the Umbra Forest, 4000 hectares, the great lung and green monument of the Gargano: majestic beech trees, oaks and, to a lesser extent, hornbeams, maples and yews are the great protagonists of a wonderful walk, with your dog on a leash to keep it safe from any wild animals. The well-marked path (10th in the Park map) starts from the small lake of Umbria with indications for the Murgia barracks: a triumph of plant and floral species up to Lake of Otri, where you arrive after about 2.5 km. The alternation of lights and shadows, with impenetrable and dark glimpses, accompanies the hiker in a fairytale environment.
The promontory, however, is rich in alternatives itineraries to share with your dog including some of the splendid coastal towns: from the canyons of the Valle dell’Inferno (beginning of the path easily reachable from km 4,2 of the provincial San Giovanni Rotondo-Manfredonia) to the karstic depression called Pozzatina dolina covered by a verdant turf: it is one of the largest in Italy (at km 13 on the Sannicandro Garganico-San Marco in Lamis road, inside the National Park of Gargano). We also mention the Tacca di Lupo slope, with a view up to the Tremiti, the Pulsano valley with the abbey carved into an impressive natural cavity, and other hermitages clinging to the rock.
- Castel del Monte
Going along the Strada Statale 170 in a southerly direction, from the beautiful city of Andria you will soon reach one of the most fascinating monuments of Puglia: Castel del Monte. Here is the motivation with which, in 1996, the Unesco World Heritage Committee included in the World Heritage List the castle, built around 1240: “Castel del Monte has an exceptional universal value for the perfection of its forms, harmony and the fusion of cultural elements from Northern Europe, the Muslim world and classical antiquity. It is a unique masterpiece of medieval architecture, which reflects the humanism of its founder: Federico II di Svevia”. Universally known (and recognized) for its octagonal shape, its eight towers and the admirable geometric and architectural perfection that distinguish it are written in books and treatises. It is located on top of a hill that, overlooks the whole beautiful surrounding area, characterized by an infinite number of olive groves.
If you come in this area with your dog, the advice is to enjoy the walk in the surroundings, or the complete tour under the eight towers, but even further, in the countryside and along the paths that can constitute a valid alternative to the carriage in your ascent to the manor. The ideal for both of them would be to appreciate the wonderful atmosphere that is created in this magical place as sunset. The visit inside is a must, but the four-legged must wait outside.