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The Via Francigena Way
6 March 9:30 - 13:30
The Via Francigena Way
With this excursion we begin a series of exits that cross or pass on the Via Francigena del Sud, the slow long-distance route that crosses Puglia to reach the sanctuary of Leuca. For some time this itinerary has been recognized as a natural extension of the classic Via Francigena that connects Canterbury to Rome. During our walk we will therefore walk for one part on this ancient pilgrimage route and for the other half of the route we will use dirt or beaten earth paths that will allow us to get to know the beauties of this area between Palmariggi and Cannole. We will leave from the Mariano di Montevergine Sanctuary. Then our path will reach Masseria Torcito where the ancient carriageways used in the past for the traffic of people and goods will be visible. Here we will also have the opportunity to see a dovecote tower and an underground oil mill. We will continue following the yellow arrow of the Via Francigena passing by the medieval hamlet of Anfiano. The origin of the temple of Montevergine is linked to the apparition in 1595 of the Virgin to a shepherd boy, who while looking for a lost knife among the stones, saw a lady appear who urged him to call the parish priest and the inhabitants of Palmariggi to lead them to that place. What was found, in a mixed context of legends and reality, is what remains of a Byzantine crypt, now devoid of the original furnishings, inside which they glimpse three frescoes. The first, the most important, is that of a Virgin, retouched, and set in an oval Baroque frame in Lecce stone. Not far away the Archangel Michael, in the act of piercing the dragon and a Madonna and Child. In the immediate vicinity of the sanctuary, a pagan element mixes ancient venerations of the divinities of nature and creation with a strongly Christianized place, a menhir, identified by De Giorgi, just under 2 meters high. Small in size over time and back from numerous demolitions and patching attempts. According to some, the menhir was erected along the path of an underground river that flows right at the foot of Montevergine. At the end of the walk, those who want to can stop at the excellent Caroppo oven in Specchia Gallone to buy and appreciate the delicious focaccia and various baked goods that are absolutely worth a visit.
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