FRANCIGENA GREEN ROAD
The ancient sacred route
A route through a rich landscape, an authentic, age-old rural culture, and sites of great artistic, archaeological and anthropological interest. The Francigena Green Road is a pilgrimage route, but also a route of commerce, myths and legends, an identifying trait of rural archaeology, and one now aiming to promote the principles of Green Economy and sustainable tourism.
From Crispiano, land of the Hundred Farmhouses (Masserie), to Grottaglie, the town of ceramics, from the ancient farmhouses to the places of worship, the old villages, the archaeological sites, the wineries and the oil mills.
Travelling time on horseback:
STAGE 1 - ARRIVAL IN CRISPIANO
The route, that can also be covered by bike (FIAB Crispiano Biciavventura, cyclotourism and excursions by bike or on foot), leaves the Church of S. Maria, located on the rocky spur of "Vallone li Castelli" and runs along the Francigena Green Road on paths immersed in nature among the historical and the traditional farmhouses of Crispiano, in the scented Mediterranean scrub vegetation of the Ionian hills.
Alternatively, one can choose the "100 Farmhouses" route: this can be covered on horseback on paths, some of them unpaved, that lead to natural places such as parks, archaeological sites, ravines and historical homes.
The route leaves from Masseria Francesca and arrives at the natural reserve of Bosco delle Pianelle, where we can see splendid wild orchids and also several species of diurnal prey birds. Along the way we stop at farmhouses for refreshment with local products (Azienda Agricola Caroli Michele, Masseria Francesca and Masseria Quis ut Deus, Crispiano).
STAGE 2 - GROTTAGLIE
Grottaglie is known for its flourishing production of ceramics. After visiting the ceramics district we explore the historical centre, enclosed between two small ravines, the ravine of S. Elia to the north and of S. Giorgio to the south.
The route concludes with a nature hike in the ravine of Fullonese, where the first rock civilizations settled.
STAGE 3 - CONVENT OF THE PAOLOTTI
The pilgrimage towards the Church of the Madonna della Mutata involves different towns in the area, and takes place one week after Easter.