A BICYCLE TRACK
Visiting on foot or by bicycle locations where it seems like time has stopped.
A slow journey on your eco-vehicle cutting through this slice of Puglia pushed by the wind, with the humming sound of the wheel that fuses with the sounds of nature. A suspended view that catches your eyes, a quite buzz in the atmosphere seems marking the grooves of your pedaling through.
The birds hum happily in the air at the gentle pace of the sheep you will meet every now and again, as you will also be randomly attracted by some other animal cry in the distance.
This traversing bicycle track is called Ciclovie di Attraversamento. It is part of the regional and international touristic cycling plans led by the project “CY.RO.N.MED” Cycle Route Network of Mediterranean (Rete Ciclabile del Mediterraneo) linked to the P.I.C. (Programma Iniziativa Comunitaria) supporting the idea that it is possible to manage a scheme of sustainable routing mobility for travelers on bicycles.
This is a projected approved by the Puglia region in support of the importance of eco-mobility with respect to the environment and so be in line with the international environmental plans of cooperation and the sharing of information across all cycle routes networks. The Daunia Rurale (Rural Daunia) is definitely a consistent part of this project and this because the pathways that cross the lands of the Gente di Terra correspond to two bicycle tracks recognized by the Federazione Italiana Amici della Bicicletta (Italian Federation of the Friends of the Bycicle): the first track is the B6 called also the Adriatic and, the second one, is the B11 or the Apennine track. From Trieste to Santa Maria di Leuca, from north to south, it is one bicycle route that traverses the whole country suited for the eco-vehicle. The Daunia Rurale is located right in the centre of this north-south long line.
Proceeding behind the lakes of Lesina and Varano, the sky and the Gargano peninsula feel with you the breeze of your cycling free while, on the other side, the salty lake Lesina appears still so still. Lake Lesina is about 22 Km long with width of 2.4 Km. It is the second biggest lake in the south and the ninth in Italy. Lago di Lesina (Lake Lesina) is famous for its eels and the fish. As you pedal along you will enjoy watching the fishermen on the lakesides still using a very old traditional technique: the ‘paranza’ (trawler) and the ‘acconcio’ (well fitted). The ‘paranza’ is type of barrier set in a perpendicular line with respect to the banks of the lagoon, to create some sort of compulsory passage for the eels towards the ‘bertovelli’ (cilinder-funnel shaped nets). This has an entrance that allows the fish to get in but it is impossible to get out. The ‘acconcio’ is another fishing system consisting of fences made with zig-zag positioned fishing rods creating some sort of barrage for the fish that so becomes easier to catch. It is also quite frequent to spot the ‘sandalo’, in the local patois called ‘sanere’, which is the typical fishing boat used on Lake Lesina and Varano. Leaving Lesina behind, at the entrance of the Parco Nazionale del Gargano, the Adriatic bicycle track splits, reaches Poggio Imperiale and Apricena and then leads onto the San Severo-Torremaggiore link.
The other trail of the ‘traversing’ bicycle track belongs to the Apennine cycle route. It cuts through all the way from the west to the east into the province of Foggia, and into the Daunia Rurale (Rural Daunia) passing via Torremaggiore and San Severo before heading towards the wounding roads of the Gargano.
Places, people, panoramic views, nature, encounters, paths, cabins and also lands, rural life, hard work, landscapes, farmhouses and tales. The more you pedal along the more it makes sense for these places and for these itineraries to be just like this: fulfilling your responsible tourist vocation in line with the slow pace of these trails that want to be discovered slowly, gently savored, with calm, with the freedom of being able to stop at your leisure, whenever a glimpse of something in the surrounding space would capture your curiosity pushing your desire to explore more. It is for this reason that the bicycle tracks narrated through the tales of the Gente di Terra represent both a very important part of the “CY.RO.N.MED “ project and the challenge launched by FIAB with respect to the promotion of the itinerary ‘Bicitalia’ of which Daunia Rurale (Rural Daunia), its people, their traditions and its amazing landscapes are integral part.