in Puglia, City of Water and Stone
It is not known with certainty the epoch or the century in which the city was founded among the rocky and mysterious ravines on the left side of the ravine, just as it is not known the time in which the name of Gravina was fixed to it. In geology the term “gravina” indicates a depression in the ground caused by water erosion and can be compared to the German “graben” (pit) or the pre-Latin terms “graba” (rock) and “rava” (rocky precipice) or the Greek “Bothros”. The name Gravina is mentioned in the Chronicon of Romualdo Salernitano, Archbishop of Salerno from 1154 to 1181, on the occasion of the Saracen raid on the city in 976 AD. Being at the confluence of valleys between ancient Peucezia and Lucania, not far from Daunia, Magna Graecia and Sannio, historically more famous regions, it can be assumed that the city of Gravina was a part of history between the 8th and 7th centuries BC, as evidenced by the archaeological finds found on the plateau of the hill of Botromagno and in the area of the Eternal Father, so called because of the presence in a cave of Byzantine frescoes dating back to the 12th century. Thanks to the relations and, perhaps, to a fusion with Magna-Greek populations that moved inland after the destruction of Sybaris (VI century B.C.). This would explain the demotic ∑I Δ I N Ω N engraved on the coins minted in loco and the presence of Greek roots in the dialect still spoken today. With the conquest of Rome, the land became an important center on the Appian Way with the name of Silvium or Silvianum and Silutum of the most famous ancient routes. Naturally with the fall of the Roman Empire (476 A.D.) the land was not immune from the ruinous raids of irregular bands of barbarians, which did not completely destroy the inhabited centers, but reduced their economic and cultural potential.
Points of interest
Gravina is a town in Apulia, in the province of Bari, of about 45,000 inhabitants. Located 350 meters above sea level and about 60 km from Bari, it borders Basilicata to the south. It is located between the pre-Apennines of Basilicata and the Murgia.
Part of the city extends on the banks of a deep crevasse, very similar to the canyons, carved into the limestone rock by the Gravina torrent, a tributary of the Bradano, from which the famous ravines of the Murgia take their name, in a territory characterized by the presence of numerous karst cavities, such as the Pulicchio di Gravina. At 6 km from the town centre, there is the “Difesa Grande” municipal woodland, one of the most important woodland complexes in the whole of Apulia, a site of community importance. Gravina is also one of the 13 municipalities that make up the territory of the Alta Murgia National Park (among other things, it houses the headquarters of the Park Authority), a vast area of 68,077 hectares characterized by a karst territory and a powerful expression of nature, which over the centuries have undergone the anthropic work, but always respectful of places. Masserie, jazzi, neviere, dry-stone walls stand out on a landscape that boasts one of the most incredible variety of fauna and flora species.
The principal events are: Historical parade / Festa di san Giuseppe / Festa di san Michele / Festival Nundinae / Fiera di san Giorgio / Sagra del Cardoncello / Festa del crocifisso / Trail delle cinque querce
today a city rich in monuments and churches, which make it appreciated from a
cultural point of view, able to offer the visitor a really suggestive panorama
thanks to the rock churches and the various works of art, the archaeological
area of Botromagno, the enhancement of the typical products of the agro-food
sector, sports, folklore and cultural events, as well as the enchanting scenery
of its natural landscape with the forest “Difesa Grande” and the
National Park of Alta Murgia.
It is possible to choose between various itineraries, in particular the naturalistic, enogastronomic, archaeological and cultural one.