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Puglia, Italy

Walk 8 - The Trulli & villas of Cristo Re walking and hiking route


Walk Instructions

Cristo Re lies north of Castellana Grotte, in the district of Monopoli. Like the area around Coreggia, it is still agricultural, and has its share of trulli and old farms - masserie. It is also an area where the ‘oil barons’ of Monopoli chose to build their country estates, after they achieved prosperity from the export of their olive oil to more northerly parts of Europe. This walk shows us both the older styles of architecture and some elegant villas. A short drive can also take us past some of the larger older villas. The walk could perhaps be combined with a visit to the caves at Castellana Grotte.

The walk is entirely on country roads. There is a shop and bar at the start of the walk and also about one third of the way round at Padrasergio. (We found the shops open at normal shopping hours, but didn’t find the bars open).

To reach Cristo Re take the Monopoli road from Castellana Grotte, SP237. Cristo Re lies half way between the two towns, about 6km from Castellana. We can park beyond the shop and bar, Il Boss, on our left.


From the car park we walk back along the main road towards Castellana, and turn sharp right (north east) along the road immediately after the bar. With the bar on our right we walk 150m to a T junction with wayside shrine. Here we turn left (north west) and follow the country road as it twists and turns between gardens and houses, farmland and trulli. We need to take care to avoid turning off into people’s driveways.

After 1.1km we reach a 3-way junction; a large square white building with a big forecourt lies to our right (WP52). We turn left (north north west). In 200m we reach another junction (WP53) and turn half left onto a larger road and continue straight ahead (west south west) to a STOP sign in about 200m. Just beyond this lies a tabernacle of the Madonna (WP41), near a bar and shop.

Having visited the centre of Padresergio, we retrace our steps past the stop sign, noting a tree clipped into ‘Japanese’ style on the right, back to the junction at WP53. We continue straight along the main road, past the sign for the end of the Padresergio. In 250m, as the road starts to slope downhill towards the sea, we come to a wayside shrine on the left, by a road marked as a dead end (WP104). Here we turn right, past a modern house on our left, bending round to the south. (We will be following this road, marked on the map as Strada Bellocchio, for over 1km as it twists and turns its way back towards the main road). In 250m (WP50) we fork left at a larger road, where there are trulli to the left, and continue to head south. In 300m (WP49) we follow the road right, where the route straight ahead becomes the drive to a house. There is a cherry orchard to the right, and we see the villas up on the hill beyond.

500m later we turn right by a dustbin (WP48). We then go 220m uphill to meet the SP237 just at a bend (WP47/49). We can already see a villa on the hillside just across the main road, while there is a view to the sea behind us.

A short distance to our right stands a large statue of Christ. We can approach for a closer look at the statue before crossing the main road (there is a better view of the traffic here) to take a minor road uphill, opposite. In 50m the road forks; we take the smaller road left. To our right, between the 2 roads, stands the church, facing the statue along an avenue of trees. We continue up the hill passing villas of assorted sizes on both sides for us, some from the late 19th century, some modern. Between the villas to the left, we can catch glimpses of the coast near Monopoli, while ahead we start to see the wooded hillslopes of the Selva di Fasano, and to the right the Tagliamento valley that we are about to cross.

700m from the main road there is a road to the right, with a shrine on the corner (WP46). On our left is a modern house, Villa Alma - we can look through its open courtyard to the sea. Before we turn for home, we may wish to go a little way further along the hilltop to enjoy the views between the villas, as the road turns to gravel and the countryside becomes a little wilder. Back at the shrine, we take the road that leads down into the valley, and then up again. The countryside around us is cultivated, with olives, almonds and fig trees, and cactus, but we have views to the woods beyond, and, if we turn round, we can see the backs of the villas on the hilltop.

Reaching the T junction at the far side of the valley, we turn right. This is a busier road and we need to walk with care, along the left hand side of the road where possible so we can see the oncoming traffic. We pass on our left a large building with a small trullo, then a complex of white buildings - Masseria La Ghezza. Once past it we can step into the gateway and admire the attractive ensemble, which has its own separate chapel. We pass Restaurant Rustichello on the left and continue to the main road, about 800m from the T junction. Turning right onto the main road, it is best to continue along the right hand side for a short while until we have a better view of traffic coming from our left. We cross over and return to ‘Il Boss’ which we can see close by.

To visit more villas by car

There is an impressive row of larger villas, dating back to the eighteenth century, set along the main road SP114 from Conversano to Monopoli. The villas start at Cozzana, about 4km north of Cristo Re and stretch towards Monopoli. To reach these by car, one option is to drive along the first part of our walk from Cristo Re to Padresergio, and at the STOP sign turn right. In about 1km we turn right again in front of a villa. In 600m we reach the SP114. Turning right we pass on our left Villa Casone Palmieri, with a large access ramp and staircase at the front. Later we pass Villa Meo Evoli, built in 1772 to a Venetian model. It contains a Museo Archeologico, but this does not appear to be open. 450m beyond this is a road to the left, Lama di Macina. About 500m along here on the left we can admire across the steep slope. Returning to the main road we can turn right back past the villas, and in about 1km turn right onto a country road, signposted (amongst other things) to Villa Indinelli. This 18th century villa lies about 300m along the road to our right, opposite the baroque Casone Indinelli, with its open loggia. To return from here to Castellana, we go back to the SP113 and turn right, and follow the road to its junction with the Castllana-Polignano road in about 5km, where we turn left.


Disclaimer: This route was correct at time of writing. However, alterations can happen if development or boundary changes occur, and there is no guarantee of permanent access. These walks have been published for use by site visitors on the understanding that neither HPB Management Limited nor any other person connected with Holiday Property Bond is responsible for the safety or wellbeing of those following the routes as described. It is walkers' own responsibility to be adequately prepared and equipped for the ‎level of walk and the weather conditions and to assess the safety and accessibility of the walk.


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