The route is almost entirely flat, and runs mainly on straight and wide roads. Short, more intricate stretches are found as the route passes through urban areas, with roundabouts, traffic dividers, pedestrian islands, stone pavers and speed bumps being the main obstacles. The last 30 km run along fast and mainly straight roads.
The final 5 kilometres run partly on wide and straight roads, and partly on city roads marked by series of bends and narrower points. From -5 to -2 km, the route runs mostly downhill, and then continues on a slight incline. There is one last bend with 1,200 m to go, then a long home straight leads all the way to the finish, on 7.5 m wide tarmac.
start / finish
Let yourself go, follow your instinct and wander around the stone labyrinths, where the incessant flow of time loses track of its trajectory. Capture the charm of a very ancient story and get closer to your deepest roots, starting from the heart of the Murgia plateau, from the tuff, consisting of tender and warm limestone, which is both mother and origin of Matera, the 2019 European Capital of Culture.
This soft rock has given birth to the Sassi, revealing both its cave districts: they are divided by a spectacular canyon, which is overlooked by the walls engraved in the guts of the earth of the Archaeological Park of the Rock Churches. A unique location nominated a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its historical, archaeological and landscape value. A unique magic that, over time, has achieved the fame of an extraordinary natural film set, where, especially at sunset, you will feel part of a nativity scene, full of meaning. Pure and authentic scenery with no signs of modernity, the Murgia Materana and the Sassi have seen traces of man since prehistoric times and bear witness to the history of humanity, having been continuously inhabited.
And it is precisely the timeless beauty of Matera’s unique townscape that made it a natural film setting, which has inspired many Italian and foreign film directors. Matera’s role in the filmmaking industry began with The Gospel according to St. Matthew (1964) by Pier Paolo Pasolini, who said that he had found in Matera those places and faces that went lost in Palestine. Other important film productions include: King David (1985) by Bruce Beresford, The Sun Also Shines at Night (1990) directed by Paolo and Vittorio Taviani, The Star Maker (1995) by Giuseppe Tornatore, The Passion (2002) by Mel Gibson, and the most recent Ben-Hur (2014) by Timur Dekmambetov, The Young Messiah (2016) by Cyrus Nowrasteh ) and James Bond 007 “No Time to Die” (2020) directed by Kary Fukunaga.
Matera is the ideal location to taste the delicious regional cuisine and wines, bearing the DOP and IGP quality marks. Among the local specialities, there is Matera bread, with its fragrant flavour and characteristic shape that reminds of the Murgia landscapes. The bread is baked in wood-fired ovens and made using durum wheat and natural yeast. Cheeses are also exceptional, as they are produced using Podolica cattle, which can be easily spotted grazing freely in the pastures of the Murgia. Mouth-watering specialities include the ‘Fave e Cicorie’ recipe, a fava bean puree with chicory, and the ‘Crapiata’, which is the traditional mixed legume soup of Matera. ‘Matera DOC’ wines, both white and red, are also exceptional.
Points of interest
The Sassi of Matera are made up of two natural amphitheatres entirely carved out of the rock: the ‘Sasso Barisano’, to the north-west, which is largely formed by palaces and traditional houses, and the Sasso Caveoso, to the south, mostly made up of cave-houses. The ‘Civita’ district, which is the oldest inhabited group of buildings around the Cathedral, overlooks the lively panorama of the Sassi. As the day goes by, the colour and atmosphere of the town centre change significantly: during the day, the dazzle of the sun shines on the white limestone rock; at night, when the moonlight glows on the Sassi, you will experience the unique feeling of being in a huge nativity scene, with hundreds of small lights scattered all over.
The Parco della Murgia Materana, also known as the Historical Natural Park of the Rock Churches of Matera, boasts a natural and spiritual heritage of exceptional value, thanks to its over one hundred and fifty cave churches included in the UNESCO World Heritage List since 1993 Some of these places of worship date back to the Romanesque period and are richly decorated with frescoes and wonderful architectural elements such as apses, quatrefoils, capitals and arches, made even more beautiful by small domes.
Outside the city, in Pietrapenta, lies the Cripta del peccato originale (Crypt of the Original Sin), known as the “Sistine Chapel” of rock-hewn churches. The Crypt is decorated with mural paintings of the Benedictine-Beneventan style, dating back to the 8th-9th centuries AD. An extraordinary cycle of frescoes which depicts, among others, episodes of the Creation and the Original Sin.
Brindisi is situated on a natural harbour, that penetrates deeply into the Adriatic coast of Apulia. Within the arms of the outer harbour islands are Pedagne, a tiny archipelago, currently not open and in use for military purposes (United Nations Group Schools used it during the intervention in Bosnia). The entire municipality is part of the Brindisi Plain, characterised by high agricultural uses of its land. It is located in the northeastern part of the Salento plains, about 40 kilometres (25 mi) from the Itria Valley, and the low Murge. Not far from the city is the Natural Marine Reserve of the World Wide Fund for Nature of Torre Guaceto. The Ionian Sea is about 45 kilometres (28 mi) away.
Brindisi’s cuisine is simple with basic ingredients used, starting with flour or unrefined barley, which is less expensive than wheat.
In the area of Brindisi are produced Aleatico di Puglia Doc, Ostuni Doc, Brindisi Rosso DOC, Rosato Brindisi DOC and Puglia IGT. Some grape varieties grown in Brindisi include:
- Malvasia Nera di Brindisi,
Points of interest
- The Castello Svevo
- The Aragonese Castle
- Two ancient Roman pillars
- The Duomo
- Church of Santa Maria del Casale
- Church of San Benedetto
- Portico of the Templars
- The Fontana Grande
- Piazza della Vittoria
- Church of Santa Maria degli Angeli
- Church of the Sacred Heart
- Church of San Giovanni al Sepolcro
- Church of the Santissima Trinità
- The Monumento to Italian Sailors
- The Regional Natural Park of Punta della Contessa Salt
- The Regional Nature Reserve Forest Cerano
- The Regional Nature Reserve Bosco of Santa Teresa