Day One

Ride 1 - Vulture-Melfese (Potenza, Castello di Lagopesole, Cascate di San Fele, Laghi di Monticchio, Rionero in, Castello di Venosa, Matera).

Tot.= 180 km

Recreative activities:

- visit to the fabulous San Fele waterfalls;

- visit of the Little Lake of Monticchio;

- visit to the Monticchio Monastery.












Vulture-Melfese is the north-eastern part of Basilicata nestled between Puglia, Campania and Potentino. Its territory is characterized by an alternation of mountains covered with chestnut groves and oak and plateau woods dominated by olive groves, vineyards and Mediterranean scrub.

The San Fele Waterfalls is a corner of paradise created along the Bradano Stream that flows from the Lucanian Apennines. A wonder of nature that offers a breathtaking scenery. The Bradano torrent flows into the Atella river and then into the Ofanto river-Adriatic Sea. Crossing the territory located in the municipality of San Fele, the stream makes some very special altitude jumps which give rise to numerous and characteristic waterfalls which represent an attraction for tourists. The waterfalls take their name from "U Uattenniere", or the dialectal transposition of "Gualchiera". The latter was the machine used in the ancient factories built specifically close to the falls to take advantage of the power of the water which, falling on wooden blades, activated the movement of the hammers that beat on the woven wool.

The total route consists of about 8 km, divided as follows:

1) "La Pineta" path

Main access to the 700 m route to be covered in about 20 minutes.

The route runs alongside the Bradano stream, where concrete bridles and stone gabions are clearly visible: works of hydraulic arrangement, built between the 1950s and 1960s to mitigate the erosive force of the water. There are the ruins of an ancient mill (letter "d" on the map).

2) "U Urtone" path

Route: 1 km to be covered in about 1 h.

It is one of the two routes that have access from the village of San Fele to reach the waterfalls. (Visible waterfalls: N. 1, 4 and 5 on the map).

3) "The Paradise" path

Route: 300 m to be covered in about 10 min.

The peculiarity of this place is represented by the absolute surrounding silence and the slow roar of the water. In summer the waterfall is reduced to a well over 6 m deep. (Visible waterfalls: No. 8 on the map).

4) "The Bridge" path

Route: 4.5 km to be covered in about 4 h.

It is one of two routes that has direct access from the town of San Fele: the path takes you from P.zza Nocicchio. Suitable for those who practice hiking, used to walking. Characteristic of this route is the passage on a bridge built in the 1920s (letter "c" on the map), which for years has constituted a "rapid" connection between the mountain and the town. Visible waterfalls: n. 4 and 5 (on the map).

5) "The Twins" path

Path: 300m to go in about 10 min.

The path leads to one of the most suggestive waterfalls. "Le gemelle" is a waterfall so renamed because it constitutes the meeting point of two waterfalls, originating respectively from the Acquafredda torrent and the Bradano torrent, which confuse their waters in a delightful pond. Visible waterfalls: n. 7 (on the map).

6) "Fosso d'Anna" path

Route: 1 km to be covered in about 1 h.

It is accessed by a path in the woods near the Bradano bridge. Visible waterfalls: n. 9 (on the map).