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RED OF CERIGNOLA PDO: TRANSHUMANCE ROUTES AND EXTRAORDINARY TREASURES

From Cerignola to Ascoli Satriano: the itinerary that embraces the territories of Stornara and Stornarella among ancient sheep tracks and Daunian and Roman archaeological sites.

The city of Cerignola gives its name to the PDO red wine that since 1974 also embraces the territories of Stornara, Stornarella and Ascoli Satriano.

The city has an ancient nucleus called the Terra Vecchia, but one of the most particular places is undoubtedly the Piano delle Fosse Granarie: an area of about 26,000 square meters that houses more than 600 pits, large pots dug into the ground used until a few years ago for storing grain. Visible from a great distance is the San Pietro Apostolo Minor Basilica also known as Duomo Tonti, considered one of the largest buildings in all of Southern Italy.

Outside the city there is the protected area Il Monte, which includes a wetland where birds such as the purple heron, the marsh harrier and the little egret stop, while in Borgo Libertà, built around the 1950s for the farmers who worked in the nearby fields, stands the complex of Torre Alemanna built by the Order of the Teutonic Knights. Recently renovated, it houses the Museum of Ceramics, where you can admire the remains of pottery found in the area.

Stornara and Stornarella, together with Carapelle, Ordona and Orta Nova, are two villages of the Cinque Reali Siti,Five Royal Sites, that Ferdinand IV of Bourbon populated with 500 farm families to make the once marshy plain productive. Stornarella is the highest point above sea level and for this reason it has always been an area surrounded by many trade routes. Stornara is a former hamlet of Stornarella, which has a small historic centre with elegant architecture such as the parish church of San Rocco and the Schiavone Palace. In the countryside around the two villages today vineyards are cultivated for the production of Red from Cerignola PDO wine, but once the most important transhumance routes passed through here.

Ascoli Satriano lies on the three hills of Pompei, Castello and Serpente and is situated in a strategic position on the valley of the Carapelle river so much so that it was a stronghold of the Roman Empire then conquered by the Byzantine Empire and the Angevins. Here was fought the famous battle of Ascoli, where in 279 BC the Romans clashed with the army of Pyrrhus.

Not far from the village there are the paths in the uncontaminated nature of Selva( forest) di San Nicola and Selva San Giacomo. The Norman Castle, Visciola Palace, Del Cavaliere Palace, the Romanesque-Gothic Cathedral and the 12th century Church of San Giovanni Battista are all very interesting. Not to be missed is the Museum Centre in the complex of Santa Maria del Popolo which houses the ‘Pasquale Rosario’ and Diocesan Museums, with the permanent exhibition ‘Polychromies of the Sublime’ which gathers polychrome marbles and includes the famous Thapezophoros of the Griffins.

Outside the town, on the Serpent’s Hill, there is the Dauni Archaeological Park, with a necropolis with herringbone pavements and the walls of a large sanctuary. On the Carapelle river, a Roman bridge is still accessible, while in the countryside there is an underground Roman aqueduct. In Faragola, recent excavations have revealed the remains of a Roman villa with precious mosaics.