Forest of Mercadante

The Forest of Mercadante extends his territory on 1300 ha (from 1041 ha of the beginning) and it lies for a large part in the territory of Cassano of the Murge (872 ha) and for the remaining part in the territory of Altamura. The Forest is part of the National Park of Alta Murgia.The forest has the characteristic of being artificial: after the demographic grouth and the deforestation of the ‘800, in fact, the environmental damages of the outback of Bari, began to involve directly the city of Bari, which was flooded a lot of times. We remember in particular three floods: 1905 (18 dead), 1915, 6th of November 1926 (19 died and 50 unjured).

The last in particular destroyed all the remaining walls that were built formely, so it was necessary to create a way more efficacious to contain the floods in case of very strong rains.For the erosion, the soil became poor and barren, so it didn’t offer resistance to the water, which flowed without obstacles to the valley bottom; on the soil were planted a lot of trees, especially conifers ( in particular “Pino d’Aleppo”), because of their fast growing and because they were suitable to prepare the soil for the native species like roverelle and evergreen oaks; but also cypresses, piramidalis and horizontalis; elm, robinia, ash, eucalyptus, ecc.We can say, with serenity, that the way of the Forest of Mercadante is the street of welfare, not only for Cassano and its population but also for all people who, with joy, walk through it to breathe a clean air in a peaceful and pleasant environement, essential to recover one’s strength, wasted by the stress of everydays.