Secrets itineraries between countryside and sea

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So Memo Remigi in 1965 sang: “If you only knew how strange feel in love in Milan …”. To paraphrase the song came to my mind that it can be equally strange look with different eyes, those of the tourist, places that you know always and even places where you spent your childhood! But it’s enough to arm yourself available to the wonder also to what seems obvious and that until that moment was looked superficially dictated by habit.

We did this with the complicity of the Cooperativa Serapia, which takes its name from Serapis, the ancient Egyptian god of fertility, but also from Serapias apulica, a small wild orchid endemic of Apulia. The objective of this cooperative is, in fact, knowledge, protection and enhancement of the natural, environmental, historical, artistic and cultural heritage of Puglia, especially that included in the areas of the Park of Dune Costiere, Valle d’Itria, Bosco delle Pianelle and Park of Terre delle Gravine. Among all the activities of the cooperative headed by the enterprising Pietro Chiatante, we chose to take part in the Walk for the bats knowledge of the bats, organized in collaboration with the Italian Research Group bats. From late afternoon to the sunset, in a group, we went to explore the mysterious world of bats, in the countryside of Martina Franca and Villa Castelli until to arrive, in the district Specchia Tarantina, the mouth of the cave Nove Casedde, large natural karst cave that gives hospitality to a large colony of bats of various species.

Worldwide, there are 1,300 species of bats, while in Italy there are about 34, divided into three main groups: those cave-dwelling, those who live in the trees and bats. During the walk, the bats expert Pier Paolo De Pasquale, has outlined the way of life, biology and strategies for conservation of bats including the use of bat boxes that may be of importance for wintering shelters or for breeding. And he has pointed up the importance of bats, a term that derives from the greek and means winged animals from the hands, as bio-indicators for the environment. For this it is necessary to respect and to preserve them: the bats feed on insects, grasshoppers, beetles but especially mosquitoes, and breed only once a year giving birth to one or maximum two puppies. Once at the cave, the expert could then locate the bats coming out of the bowels of the earth through the bat detector, a tool that translates ultrasound emitted by bats into sounds of frequencies audible to the human. And just wait until dark to see swarms of bats come out on flybys between the trees: a performance made even more impressive by the surrounding countryside consists of a landscape so-called “mosaic” made up of olive groves, but also by small woods of fragno and Mediterranean brushwood.

Another interesting experience was that the evening “From the stable to the stars”, in which, after tasting of fresh and aged cheeses and other local products at the farm La Stalla, we were guests of the B&B Trulli Gallo Rosso where the astrofila Mimma Colella has led us into an exciting “walk stellar” to the discovery of Greek and Roman myths related to the constellations. Despite the clouds and the visual pollution caused by artificial lights, the reading of the sky, between science and myth, it is very addictive and has aroused the interest and curiosity of all present that were not spared questions to the expert.

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For anyone, intrigued by these experience, who wishing to participate in activities organized by the Cooperativa Serapia, the program foresees the September walks with donkeys in the countryside of Mottola and between herbs of Gravina of Riggio in the territory of Grottaglie on Saturday afternoon and participation to the grape harvest at the Masseria Ferri on the last Sunday of the month. Do not miss appointments with the tours and workshops on the beaches of the Park Dune Costiere, woodland walks and cycling along the route of the main channel of the Acquedotto Pugliese or among the olive trees of the farms of Monopoli and visits to the historic center of Martina Franca (the full program on the site

Info e prenotazioni eventi: +39 328 6474719 – +39 366 5999514 –

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This travel blog with the dog is a personal selection of our best experiences, our favorite spots and secrets places around the world curated by Rosalia e Michele.