A day with history, archelogical and nature: the medieval BARSENTO’s Santa Maria Abbey.

in #travelfeedlast year

Lovers of photography will understand me: every occasion is the right chance to bring home some new photos and go somewhere nice.
In my last post I used a missed appointments to visit to the village of Noci (Apulia region, Italy) and share it with you through photography.. this time I took advantage of a bike ride for visiting a place which fascinated me and certainly has left an indelible memory in my heart.

I'm talking about the BARSENTO’s Santa Maria Abbey, of mediaeval origin and surrounded by an area that has become "Regional Natural Reserve" (the natural oasis of Barsento).

The reason for the emotions I've felt in this place is almost inexplicable. A kind of empathy at first sight due also to the particularly beautiful natural context in which this Abbey is integrated.
The impression was I had gone back in time.. to the Middle Ages!

But maybe I should take a step back and tell you how I ended up there... to this medieval abbey!

The day was not expected to be the best, the weather called for mild thunderstorms that morning and a bitter wind swept the streets of Bari (my city).
I had an appointment with my brother-in-law, resident in a small village in the hinterland, for a bike ride. We usually cycle between 50 and 70 kilometres through the cycling routes present in the area within the Itria Valley, looking for some "gems" to visit in a brief stop in the bike ride.

Especially the neighbourhood around Alberobello is rich in farmhouses dating back to the Middle Ages, of archaeological excavations and areas nestled in the beautiful nature of the Murgia in which the biking efforts are quick to forget about thanks to the beauty of the surrounding landscape!

Although a bit demoralized by the weather we decide to go anyway and on the road connecting Noci to Alberobello there appeared a sign indicating the presence of an abbey: BARSENTO’s Santa Maria!
After having done a short climbing along the path, we reach a parking lot outside of abbey's complex.

No car in the parking, no one outside the abbey's forecourt.. just a lot of cuddly kittens who approached us with no fear and I think they were searching for food.
We did a few more steps before there appeared BARSENTO’s Santa Maria Abbey!

I cannot hide it, I got a huge kick out.. the Church seemed to a basilica-shaped Romanic style building, with the characteristic roofs made of stone slabs that progressively overlap each other that bring the trulli of Alberobello to mind.
Unfortunately, I haven't been able to see the inside as there was no one on the spot to ask to open the gate but from the outside the division into three naves may be observed in spite of small size.

Some elements of the church were definitely later addition; its belltower (a "vela" monoforo), for example, still carrying its small bell is dated back to the XV century.
The white stones of the walls of the church, as well as the whole farmhouse, become almost dazzling in broad daylight offering a fascinating eye-catcher!

Despite its simplicity, the cross above the main entrance has a strong emotional impact; it was itself a later addition too.

The area of Barsento is located halfway between Bari and Taranto, on Murgia foreland, between the town of Noci, Putignano, Alberobello and Gioia del Colle at 420 meters above sea-level.

The whole area is surrounded by trees and a vast expanse of Mediterranean vegetation and certainly is no exception the Abbey.
In the fall, the dry branches of the trees give a glimpse of the entire abbey complex, but no doubt that Barsento's Abbey natural surroundings are hard to beat in springs.

It is an area of outstanding beauty stood out for its many centuries old holm oak woods ensuring shaded areas and create a highly evocative atmosphere. Inside the wood, old "tratturi" (sheep trails) and historical paths suggest the main connection routes that in very ancient time, connecting the abbey and the surrounding area.
Although we tried to follow this centuries-old paths, we had to surrender almost immediately since our bikes were not suitable for that kind of routes.

The wildlife is also very diverse thanks to the presence of some of the most common species on the Murgia such as foxes, hedgehogs, weasels, lizards, magpies and sparrows.

A brief mention at the story of the medieval BARSENTO’s Santa Maria Abbey. It was presumably constructed in 591 BC but unfortunately there is no certainty of that date since there are no historical documents to witness it.
Most probably it dates back to XI century when the Abbey was at an important crossroads also thanks to its strategic position on a hill overlooking the surrounding valley.

Archaeological finds attest that the area has been inhabited since Messapians and in pre-Roman times.

Next to the main entrance of the church it's placed a stone slab with writings difficult to understand due to wear of time but presumably (on the basis of several deciphering attempts) state as follows:


"In the year of Jesus Christ incarnation's MCC... Barsitana Communitas (The Community of Barsento)"

Just enough time to take some more pictures and the weather had really changed.. the blue of the sky that welcomed us at our entrance to the Abbey had been replaced by a blanket of threatening clouds!
And since 30 km separated us from home, reluctantly we were back in the saddle and we left with the hope to return soon.

I'm sure this place will always be in my heart.. so if you are in the area and if you get a chance, I suggest you to spend some time here for a leisurely outing!

View this post on TravelFeed for the best experience.


This post has been rewarded with an upvote from city trail as part of Neoxian City Curation program . We are glad to see you using #neoxian tag in your posts. If you still not in our discord, you can join our Discord Server for more goodies and giveaways.

Do you know that you can earn NEOXAG tokens as passive income by delegating to @neoxiancityvb. Here are some handy links for delegations: 100SP, 250SP, 500SP, 1000SP. Read more about the bot in this post. Note: The liquid neoxag reward of this comment will be burned and stake will be used for curation.

A big thanks to neoxian curators for this award!

Hiya, @LivingUKTaiwan here, just swinging by to let you know that this post made into our Top 3 in Daily Travel Digest #711.

Your post has been manually curated by the @steemitworldmap team and got an upvote from @blocktrades to support your work. If you like what we're doing, please drop by to check out all the rest of today's great posts and consider supporting us so we can keep the project going!

Become part of the Haveyoubeenhere community:

Whoo!!! Thanks @LivingUKTaiwan and @steemitworldmap!!!
I'm so glad that you enjoyed my post and you've chosen it as the cover of your "travel digest"!

Congratulations! Your high-quality travel content was selected by @travelfeed curator @elsaenroute and earned you a reward, in form of an upvote and a resteem. Your work really stands out! Your article now has a chance to get featured under the appropriate daily topic on our TravelFeed blog.
Thank you for being part of the TravelFeed community!

Thanks for posting through TravelFeed.io! You have received a larger upvote from us. We hope to see you soon on TravelFeed.io!
Posting through TravelFeed.io also makes your post eligible to participate in the travel writing contest by @invisusmundi where you can earn up to 100 STEEM! Read the contest announcement for more information on how to participate.

We are continuously working on improving TravelFeed, recently we presented at SteemFest⁴, published our Android app and launched our Steem witness.

Please consider voting for us as a witness. If you're not sure how to do that, it's easy: Head over to our Support Us page and hit the witness voting button to vote with Steem Keychain, or Steemconnect if you are not a Keychain user. Alternatively, use this Steemconnect link or head over to the Steemit Wallet and enter travelfeed in the box.

Learn more about TravelFeed by clicking on the banner above and join our community on Discord.

Thanks @travelfeed and @elsaenroute! Your support means a great deal to me!

You post has been manually curated by BDvoter Team! To know more about us please visit our website or join our Discord.

BDvoter Team

I am grateful for your support!

Congratulations, Your Post Has Been Added To The Steemit Worldmap!
Author link: http://steemitworldmap.com?author=miti.blog
Post link: http://steemitworldmap.com?post=a-day-with-history-archelogical-and-nature-the-medieval-barsento-s-santa-maria-abbey

Want to have your post on the map too?

  • Go to Steemitworldmap
  • Click the code slider at the bottom
  • Click on the map where your post should be (zoom in if needed)
  • Copy and paste the generated code in your post
  • Congrats, your post is now on the map!


Thanks for sharing your experience with us!

You have been curated by @hafizullah on behalf of Inner Blocks: a community encouraging first hand content, with each individual living their best life, and being responsible for their own well being. #innerblocks Check it out at @innerblocks for the latest information and community updates, or to show your support via delegation.

Hi @hafizullah,thank you for the appreciation you show for my work!

Hi @miti.blog, your post has been upvoted by @bdcommunity courtesy of @hafizullah!

Support us by setting us as your witness proxy or delegating STEEM POWER.

20 SP50 SP100 SP200 SP300 SP500 SP1000 SP


Thank you! I am glad you support me on that post!

Good eye @steemitworldmap! Congratulations @miti.blog.

Thank you, @dandays! All of the curators in @steemitworldmap do every day excellent work, I guess it’s not easy to choose among so many great posts!

Hello neighbor on the Travel Digest #711 :) Nice blog you have :)

Hello! You're not so bad yourself, @haastrecht! Kudos on the award ;)

Congratulations @miti.blog! You have completed the following achievement on the Steem blockchain and have been rewarded with new badge(s) :

You distributed more than 1500 upvotes. Your next target is to reach 1750 upvotes.

You can view your badges on your Steem Board and compare to others on the Steem Ranking
If you no longer want to receive notifications, reply to this comment with the word STOP

Vote for @Steemitboard as a witness to get one more award and increased upvotes!