Faith, nature and folklore. These are the ingredients of the itinerary called 'Sanctuary Our Lady of Mercy - Nordic Walking', proposed by Pasquale Larocca of Pollino Adventure, Vacanzattiva! Tutor.
We are in Terranova, a small cultural and spiritual center of Basilicata in the Pollino National Park, for a short and easy - but full of surprises - path.
Pasquale La Rocca, what’s this route all about?
It ‘s a route that summarizes this land’s soul. From the village we leave the road behind us to enjoy nature, you can enjoy the beautiful mountain scenery observing the highest peaks of the Pollino and the colored plots of land cultivated with olive trees, everything on a sacred path leading to Our Lady of Mercy.
An itinerary about faith, then?
Yes, the path was created for the procession of the Virgin Mary. The trail is open year-round but to fully enjoy the Lucanian mood we recommend to come here the Sunday after Easter, when the statue is carried from the village to the Shrine. Or the second Sunday of September when, on the contrary, the Virgin Mary is taken back to Terranova, where She will remain until the end of winter.
A moment full of history and tradition.
Certainly. On these occasions you can trek accompanied by the sound of traditional bagpipes. The music culture is highly developed here, considering that in the village there are five bands and the residents are just a thousand ...
Talking about the path, what should the traveler expect?
To walk through olive groves, vineyards and chestnut woods. Absolutely silent. The arrival at the Shrine is moving, it is surrounded by old oak trees with diameters of more than a meter and a half.
What typical dishes can be enjoyed?
In this area the typical food is the pork. There is an ancient tradition of sausage and salami factories and each family produces its own sausages. You must taste the Pollino’s Ham.
In summary: a simple route that can be done by everyone in every season.
Exactly. I would go further: even in the evening and at night. There is nothing more beautiful than seeing the Shrine of Our Lady of Mercy illuminated in the dark of Pollino, when around the jays start to sing.