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Gravina in Puglia, Real Italian Culture, Italy Trip Part 2 of 3

A Family Adventure in Gravina in Puglia: Exploring the James Bond Bridge and Culinary Delights

Recently we got to travel to Italy and go back to the roots of our family. The BryMax Brothers and family got embark on an unforgettable journey to Gravina in Puglia, a hidden gem often overshadowed by its more famous neighbors.

This charming city, now world famous for the Ponte Acquedotto Bridge, as seen in the movie 007:No Time to Die and the birthplace of Pope Benedetto XIII, offers a family-friendly and budget-friendly vacation. Join us as we explore Gravina's historic sites, indulge in local delicacies, and venture into the nearby Matera.

Gravina in Puglia - The town welcomes travelers with open arms, showcasing its beauty without breaking the bank. The locals, known for their warmth, make navigating the language barrier a breeze. Gravina features caves and churches carved into the rock, creating a fascinating underground world. The city's renowned bread, distinct from Altamura's famous Pane di Altamura , reflects the rich agricultural history, with wheat fields surrounding the area for centuries.

Historical Roots and Viticulture: Gravina's history dates back to prehistoric times, with evidence of grapevine cultivation over 1,200 years ago. Emperor Frederick II's influence furthered viticulture development, with the local wines gaining fame for their quality, freshness, and fragrance. Gravina, housed in the Museo Fondazione "Ettore Pomarici Santomasi," preserves the rich history of these wines.

Exploring Gravina's Treasures and places to visit:

Visit the Cola Cola Museum:

The Cola Cola, also known as a whistle, is a traditional object found in various regions of Italy, including Matera, Grottaglie, Gravina, and Rutigliano. In Gravina, it is called "Cola Cola" in dialect, named after the magpie (Pica Caudata) that frequents the woods in the Gravina countryside. This terracotta whistle holds cultural significance as a symbol of good luck, crafted by artisans who, like farmers, hoped for the renewal of the land. The Cola Cola Museum in Gravina, located in the original home of the Loglisci family, showcases the rich history and craftsmanship of this sacred and mysterious object. The museum, with its five rooms filled with both contemporary and historical pieces, offers visitors a journey through time, capturing the essence of local culture, folk traditions, and the artistry of the Loglisci family. The Cola Cola Museum is a unique destination, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the enchanting world of these magical whistles, making it a must-visit for those seeking a blend of history, craftsmanship, and cultural heritage in Gravina.

Ponte Acquedotto: 007 Bridge

The town's impressive Ponte Acquedotto bridge, originally constructed in the mid-17th century, served as both a bridge and an aqueduct. After collapsing in 1722 due to an earthquake, it was rebuilt, transformed into an aqueduct to bring water to Gravina from the opposite side of the ravine. Also known as Ponte Viadotto, the bridge stands over 37 meters tall and 90 meters long, connecting the city center to rock-cut churches on the eastern side. Notably, Ponte Acquedotto gained international recognition as a filming location for a scene in the 2021 James Bond movie "No Time To Die," adding cinematic allure to its historical and architectural significance. It was also recently featured in the reality game show 007: Road to a Million.

"It was cool seeing the bridge and then watching the movie after, it felt like such a uniqure experience!"- Firewalks

Gravina Downtown Plaza:

The downtown area, including the Gravina Piazza, serves as a focal point for locals, offering nightly gatherings, delicious food, and a rich historical ambiance. The churches, such as the Cathedral Basilica and the Church of Santa Maria del Suffragio, contribute to the city's cultural allure, creating a captivating panorama for visitors. Additionally, Gravina's natural landscape, including the "Difesa Grande" wood and the Alta Murgia Park, adds to its charm, making it a compelling destination for those seeking a blend of history, culture, and natural beauty.

The Caves and Rock Churches:

Located a short distance from the bridge, the town features a complex cave system. This includes the San Michele delle Grotte, where humans have inhabited since the 7th century AD. This eerie holds a stack of skulls and bones from the inhabitants massacred by Saracens in 999. The caves offer a unique glance back into history.

Il Re dei Funghi Store

Il Re dei Funghi meaning "The Mushroom King," is a local store in Gravina that stands as a haven for mushroom fans. Nestled in the heart of the region, renowned for its rich fungal diversity, this store offers an array of locally sourced mushrooms. As autumn arrives, the store buzzes with activity, as locals and visitors alike flock to create iconic pasta and mushroom dishes that showcase the unique flavors of the region.

Where to Eat in Gravina?

Explore the culinary delights of Gravina in Puglia, where traditional flavors and cultural heritage intertwine to create a unique experience. From family dinners in quaint establishments to trendy pizza joints and delightful breakfast spots, the town offers a diverse range of tastes. The prices are reasonable and the food is homemade.

"I loved the fresh Mozzarella, I've never had anything as good as that!" - BryMan

1. La Dimora degli Elfi (Family Dinner): Indulge in a memorable family dinner experience at La Dimora degli Elfi. This charming restaurant offers a cozy ambiance, perfect for a relaxing evening with loved ones. The menu features a delightful selection of traditional Puglian dishes prepared to showcase the region's culinary excellence. As a pro tip, don't miss the chance to check out the breathtaking view of the bridge from the nearby park, adding a touch of enchantment to your dining experience.

2. Stile Libero (Trendy Pizza Place): For pizza lovers seeking a trendy spot, Stile Libero is the go-to destination. Known for its innovative and delectable pizza creations, this local gem blends traditional flavors with a contemporary flair. The vibrant atmosphere make it an ideal spot for a casual and enjoyable evening. Explore a diverse range of pizzas crafted with fresh, local ingredients, delivering an authentic taste of Puglian pizza culture.

3. Oronero (Breakfast): Start your day at Oronero, a charming breakfast spot that not only offers delicious morning delights but also a close walk to the highlights of the town. Indulge in a Nutella Croissant, a local favorite that perfectly complements the rich Italian coffee served here. The warm and inviting atmosphere makes Oronero an excellent choice for a leisurely breakfast, providing a delightful beginning to your day in Gravina.

4. Osteria Sant'Agostino (Homemade Fresh Cuisine): For an intimate and exclusive dining experience, make reservations at a local restaurant called Osteria Sant'Agostino, known for its homemade, fresh cuisine. This small establishment prides itself on offering a curated menu of authentic Puglian dishes, prepared with a touch of culinary finesse. The limited seating ensures a personalized and attentive service, making it a perfect choice for those seeking an exquisite and memorable dining affair in Gravina. Pro tip: you will need a reservation to eat here, and they are only open for a few hours each night.

Where to Stay in Gravina?

For a comfortable stay in Gravina, consider Oppip Bed and Breakfast, offering clean and spacious accommodations with convenient amenities. With Wi-Fi access and walking distance to town landmarks, Oppip ensures a pleasant experience during your visit. Enjoy the charm of Gravina while resting in the welcoming atmosphere of Oppip Bed and Breakfast.

Local Entertainment in Gravina

Experience the vibrant spirit of local football by catching a match of FBC Gravina, the town's lively football club. Whether you're a soccer fan or just looking for an exciting local activity, attending one of FBC Gravina's games is a must. The team plays throughout the year, and the affordable ticket prices make it an accessible and enjoyable experience for sports fans visiting Gravina. Immerse yourself in the energy of the game and support the local team during your stay.

"Soccer is one of my favorite sports to play, so this was my first real soccer game it was fun." - Nugget

Local Music

Experience the soulful sounds of Gravina by exploring the vibrant local music scene. Throughout the town, you'll find talented musicians performing at various bars and clubs, creating a dynamic atmosphere that is not to be missed. Don't forget to check out "Into The Deep," a popular local band hosting memorable pop-up music sessions. ( )

Planning a party or wedding?

Southern Italy, with its enchanting landscapes and rich cultural heritage, is a sought-after destination for hosting special events, particularly weddings. For a memorable celebration in the picturesque countryside, Giardino dei Gelsi stands out as an ideal venue. Surrounded by the beauty of nature, this area provides a charming and romantic setting, making it a perfect choice for those seeking an unforgettable and idyllic location to commemorate life's significant moments. Pro Tip: Ask Michele to see his turtles.

Towns to visit nearby:

  • Matera: Known for its ancient cave dwellings, the Sassi di Matera, Matera offers a unique landscape and a rich history.

  • Altamura: Famous for its bread and the impressive Altamura Cathedral, this town is a treasure trove of medieval architecture.

  • Bari: A bustling port city, Bari combines historic sites like the Basilica di San Nicola with a lively atmosphere and seaside charm.

  • Alberobello: Renowned for its trulli, distinctive cone-shaped houses, Alberobello is a UNESCO World Heritage site with a fairytale ambiance.

Gravina in Puglia, with its rich history, underground wonders, and delectable cuisine, is a family-friendly destination that won't break the bank. Gravina is truly hidden spot in the southern Italian world. Corporate America has not yet invaded this small village and allows for its natural bueaty to stay prestine to the roots of Italian Culture. Gravina truly has the old world Italian experience.

Check out the captivating video on Brymax's YouTube page. Join them on their journey through the ancient streets, historic landmarks, and culinary delights of this picturesque town in Puglia. Immerse yourself in the charm of Gravina as Brymax captures the essence of its unique attractions, providing a virtual tour that will leave you inspired to explore this hidden gem in Southern Italy. Discover the magic of Gravina and start planning your own adventure today! 🎥✨


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