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98 km - Altitude gain 1.100mt

Stage 03

Cerignola -


Monday 08  May 2023 98km Altitude gain 1.100mt
Stage suitable for: Intermediates

Withdrawals: 0

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Touristic Information

Two ancient itineraries identify the territory of Cerignola between the current Ordona and Canosa; but the first document is from 1225. A fief of the Caracciolo, Pignatelli, Egmont families, it was the scene of the battle of 28 April 1503 between the French and the Spanish. It was the birthplace of Joseph Pavoncelli, Giuseppe Di Vittorio, Nicola Zingarelli.

Lake Capacciotti offers a sporting-naturalistic route in order to arouse interest in eco-sustainable sport and culture. Mountain biking, Yoga, Trekking, running, ecological and botanical walks, walks.

Cerignola is a stop on the “Ciclovia dell’Ofanto” with four itineraries: “From the Daunian mountains to the deep tableland”, “in the mosaic of the Ofanto valley”, “Via della Ripa alta” and “The Norman route. From Melfi to Torre Alemanna”.


Cavatelli and rocket; burnt wheat cicatelli; orecchiette and turnip greens; presses with meat sauce; cardoncelle and lamb; twists; fried lambs; stuffed peppers; fried cuckoos; warmers; “Bella di Cerignola” olives; artichokes in oil; seven-layer pizza; Cartellate with honey or vincotto; raffaiuoli; grape mustard.


Cerignola, at the end of the 20th century, was among the major exporters of wine in Europe through the Pavoncelli and La Rochefoucauld families (at the current Torre Quarto); Red of Cerignola DOC; Nero of Troy; Negramaro; Mistella.



Melfi is not a city with a simple history, but, above all, it is a city with a beautiful history.

Melfi is the third municipality in Basilicata in terms of population and size.

It develops at an altitude of 562 metres above sea level on Mount Vulture slopes (1327 m. asl)

Its extended historic centre and city walls surrounds the Norman Swabian Castle, first built by the Normans, and then rebuilt by Frederick II. Finally, it was equipped with new towers by Charles I of Anjou and restored by the Caracciolos and Dorias.

Massimo Pallottino (who was born in Melfi) National Archaeological Museum, is based in the Castle and it is one of the most significant and well-known in the south of Italy.

The following historical landmarks and beautiful natural areas stand out among those in Melfi that can be fully appreciated and as well as easily visited:

A well-known symbol of the city and a major tourist attraction is made up of the CATHEDRAL, the BELL TOWER of RUGGIERO II, and the EPISCOPIO.

One of the six entrances that were originally open in Melfi’s walls is known as THE VENOSINA DOOR because it was the starting place of a way that developed from the Via Appia to Venosa. Frederick II walked into the city from this location.

MONTICCHIO LAKES are two beautiful bodies of water surrounded by woods in the far reaches of Mount Vulture.

This fascinating combination of structures and natural wonders contrasts sharply with a sizeable, outlying industrial area where major global companies like Stellantis (formerly Fiat), Barilla, and others have their headquarters.


The entire Vulture-Melfi community is intimately connected to its “chestnut”, which has been celebrated in Melfi since 1960 in all of its forms during the “Varola festival”, unquestionably one of the most significant and enduring gastronomic gatherings in the Lucan culture. It’s an annual tradition that takes place the last weekend in October. Here, the “marroncini” (little chestnuts) are transformed into tasty roast chestnuts since they are prepared and roasted in a huge traditional pan, known as “Varola”.

Accordingly, the Melfi “marroncino” is highly regarded in the creation of desserts, confections, and liquors. It is sought-after for the production of the renowned marron glacé, due to its round shape and unique texture.

The extra virgin olive oil known as Vulture DOP is made from cold-pressed, top-quality olives and it is always the basis of every dish. The most widespread olive quality is “Vulture Ogliarola” along with “Melfi Cima”.

The Vulture-Melfi area is the cradle of the famous Vulture Aglianico wine, made from ruby-colored, DOCG-certified Aglianico grapes.

It is one of the best Italian wines and it has been denominated the “Barolo of the South” due to its method of production and flavour.

Gastronomic specialties

“Pancotto alla Melfitana”: it is prepared by mixing bread, potatoes, and boiled turnips in one saucepan to be finally topped with an oil, garlic, red pepper sauté.

“Cucinidd”: lamb cooked with bacon, sausage, tomatoes, cardoons, and eggs.

“Maccuarnar”: dialect name for “Maccoronara”, which is long, fresh pasta that is hand-made using a metal rolling pin.

“Calzoncelli“: a traditional Melfi dessert. The recipe has been passed down through generations: a cylindrical dough of two to three cm in diameter made of almonds, chocolate, and sugar is coated in a crumbly shortcrust pastry crust.

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