Trekking: The Churches Road

Morning – the itinerary begins from the covered cistern located on the property of the Strada nearby Masseria Irene which is still inhabited. From here, a beaten path leads to arable soils behind the Gravina of Matera.
Going up the canyon towards north and walking through the maquis shrubland, visitors can reach crypts spread out along the Gravina and hidden in the middle of the vegetation. The crypts del Canarino, Sant’Andrea, della Scaletta and Madonna della Loe are vestiges of an antique rocky civilization that used to carve their own dwellings out of the calcareous rock. Madonna della Loe is the most important sanctuary and has now become a pilgrimage destination once a year. Following the path, visitors will pass through the so-called Vallone della Loe (surrounded by the calcareous rock) whose rock faces and rear part are overgrown by a lush vegetation. An everlasting moisture and a small streaming determine such microclimatic conditions as to allow the profuse woods which characterize the Vallone. The overall landscape looks like a fairywood.
After a short break, visit to the rocky settlement of Sant’Eustachio with an elegant church bearing the same name and inside of which a frescoe of Sant’Eustachio riding a horse can be viewed. Return to Matera passing through the Selva Venusio road.

Useful Information
Starting point: cisterna Strada
Ending point: cripta di S. Eustachio
Lenghth:  5 km approx.
Duration :  4 hours
Equipment required: Hat and trekking shoes, rucksack, bottle of water, telescopic walking stick, k-way.