Come in Apulia, wander around much, wander above and wander below,  head in the inland parts of the province of Taranto and get a lot of beauty among ravines and rupestrian churches that are a mine of colours. Apulia never goes upward, never curl, never flare up its land, never. Above, the sky is always free with several clouds, white clouds like a white flock of sheep tended by a pirate wind running free, teasing, lasching, pulling strongly between a sea and another. Above, only the bold bell towers of the Romaneque and the Baroque, only those and for the rest is “blu dipinto di blu” as Domenico Modugno sang in “Volare”. Below, on the other hand, it’s easy to mix the senses, too many colours, too many perfumes, too evrything. In Apulia you look down and – as Alessandro Piva says – the head turns because of how much beauty is there. It exactly happens in the inland parts of Taranto, where the Murgia gently slides towards the Ionian sea and where the karsism invented a deep universe, caved into the rock by the erosion of the water: the ravines.

Carlos Solito


In the Apulia’s heart, wrapped up in olives trees and seculars woods opens a coffer of millenium-old beauties. A territory with charming landscapes, ravines, villages, medieval rupestrian churches, genuine flavours where time seems to have stopped. A territory where every stone or every painting, every tree has to tell you an ancient history of passion, simplicity and of will to live. An open sky museum that never ceases to amaze you. It’s in our rupestrian churches that we can understand the everlasting and great significance of the cultural and religious role that Apulia has played since Middle Ages as “bridge/crossroad” between East and West and of this “Caves Civilization” that conjoins in a pacific way and without interruption the worship of Greek Church Saints with Latin Church Saints. In the time of transition from Byzantine period to the Norman conquest  around the 11th century, the Benedictine monarchism worked out the previous tradition and transmitted to our regions this culture deeply imbued with oriental iconography influenced by Byzantine models.  In this cultural framework have been dug out our rupestrian churches;  among the most interesting and fascinating examples of these architectures we can mention the St. Nicholas’ and St Margaret’s churches whose worship was firmly rooted in our territory during the Medieval period.

The woods

In the area north of Mottola, bordering Martina and Noci, there are large wooded areas with all natural and geological characteristics of the Murgia, with the Fragno’s woods and the ravines. There are Fragno and oak, Holm, Aleppo pine. Only the wood Sant’Antuono has picnic areas, nature and historical trails.

  • Sant’Antuono’s wood coordinates: 40.668711, 17.094941
  • Lama Cupa’s Wood coordinates: 40.680410, 16.988127
  • Burgensatico’s Wood coordinates: 40.701534, 16.965341

The ravines

The territory south of Mottola is characterized by ravines, deep engraving even over 100 meters, very similar to the Canyon, still carved into the limestone by rainwater. It is exceptional and unique natural habitat for flora and fauna: there are holm oak, Aleppo pine, arbutus, ash, locust,the wild maple and asparagus. In the ravines you can find wonderful orchids, honeysuckle, cyclamen, hawthorn and delicate wild roses. You can see several small rapacious birds like the lesser kestrel and the kestrel, but also the black kite, the buzzard, the harrier, the Egyptian vulture and the common owl. In the ponds there are the yellow-bellied toad, typical of the ravines of southern Italy, the frog, the newt and the toad. In the ravine of San Biagio-Palagianello there is a small natural cave, the cave of San Biagio, characterized by stalactites and stalagmites, typical karst formations.


Book a guided tour