Start in Lucera (Foggia Province). Visit the warmly Romanesque old city with its imposing castle - built by Frederick II – and tour the Cacc'e Mmitte di Lucera wineries, where you can taste wines from a Doc which has recently been re-evaluated. The name in dialect means “take and put” and this gives the idea of a wine ready to drink, and not for aging.

The name really derives from the practice of renting out wine presses, where the local farmers took it in turns to crush their grapes. The grapevine which produces this red wine is called Nero di Troia, and is also used for two other Doc wines in the area: Orta Nova and Rosso di Cerignola. These are very intense wines with a great structure, ideally suited to accompany the frank flavours of the local dishes. The cuisine here is simple, just like the customs of the local people who have always been involved in rearing livestock and in farming the land.

Along your route towards Cerignola along the ancient Via Traiana, you will come across vast expanses of olive trees, evidence of the importance of agriculture in this area. This part of Puglia is well known for its excellent wines and also for the quality of its extra virgin olive oil and for its Bella di Cerignola Dop olives – large, fleshy and delicious to eat.

Cerignola derives its name from Ceres, the Roman goddess of the harvest, and one important legacy of the past are the so-called Fosse del Grano. These are ancient underground storage “silos” for grain. This is an organized system next to the city centre, and is the last remaining example of the kind of grain store once typical in this Capitanata area of Puglia, now that similar “silos” have disappeared from Foggia, Lucera, Manfredonia and San Severo. Foggia seems to have got its name from the old word fovea, meaning a pit for storing grain.

Emperor Frederick II also played an important role in the history of Foggia, because he built an imperial palace here – the Palatium. Only the well survives today (largely a fanciful reconstruction) along with the lavish stone arch from the doorway which is now part of the outside wall of the Civic Museum. Foggia was also very important for livestock drovers, and it was here that the Aragonese sited their Sheep Customs Post in the 15th century.


PAGLIONE - Lucera (Fg)