Lenght: 5 km
Level of difficulty: easy
- The little ladder
- The ancient Crypt
The route starts on the Viale delle Giritoie, that is a street running along the pine forest of the Zoo-safari and characterized by a series of hairpin turns. At the beginning there is a shrine of the Madonna, represented with the child in a discolored image with this inscription: “Effigy of the Madonna della Madia di Monopoli”. It is said that it has been build to remember victims of an accident happened at the beginning of the last century.
Following the way, at the third turn, there is a sign that indicates the Ravine of San Donato.
The little ladder
A little stone ladder marks the beginning of the path. On the morphological point of view, the directions of the ravine are: West-East on the hills side and North-East , South-West on the valley side . The height difference between the Miramonti Hotel, end of the path, and the beginning is around 160 meters.
The ancient Crypt
The sheep-track allows visitors to reach an ancient underground crypt dedicated to the cult of San Donato. The ravine formed in calcareous and calcareous-dolomitic rocks that have a whitish or light brownish color. It is a natural site that has the shape of a crevasse with sloping sides modeled by the water during the centuries. Here the typical flora is the Mediterranean scrub mixed with holm oaks.
Following the ladder that becomes more narrow as you go along, you will reach the Miramonti Hotel and then you can choose to go on the left or on the right:
On the right, continuing along a paved street for about 500 meters, the route ends in piazzale Belvedere where you can overlook an astonishing panorama: an extended natural carpet made of centuries or thousand-year old olive trees that ends in the Adriatic sea.
On the left, you have to turn towards Viale delle Giritoie and take the lane to the Botanical Garden. You must have a look there in order to learn to recognize the various species of plants you find along the way. The garden is located in an old trullo surrounded by a stone wall. Here there are bushes and plants with plaques indicating both their common and scientific name.