Celenza Valfortore – Occhito Lake

Celenza Valfortore is one of the oldest centers in the whole of Daunia which rises on the border between Puglia and Molise. It represents an area of great environmental value thanks to the presence of the Occhito lake and the wooded area that surrounds it. Lake Occhito is one of the largest Italian artificial basins and the second largest in Europe.

The Occhito dam blocks the Fortore river thus creating the lake of the same name. The stretch of water and the wooded area that surrounds it represents an important habitat for numerous animal species. Among the birds that find shelter here are coots, mallards and moorhens. The presence of the otter in the lake area is now confirmed, which returned to populate these territories after several decades. Along its banks there are some interesting paths perfect for an excursion on foot, by mountain bike, or on horseback to discover the nature that here is more luxuriant than ever. Furthermore, wandering around the lake it is possible to enjoy a sweet panorama. Click here to discover the history of the lake.

The city of Celenza Valfortore is part of the Northern Monti Dauni Mountain Community and is located at a height of almost 500 meters above sea level. The historic center has maintained its medieval layout over the years, and on the top of the hill on which the town stands.

Here are the main monuments of the country:

  • The Gambacorta Castle , built between the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, around which the crenellated tower still stands, the only survivor of the original five towers also represented on the city coat of arms. Near the castle there are also two of the original four doors that gave access to the citadel of the feudal era.
  • The Mother Church of Santa Croca is located in the heart of the historic center. It was built in the second half of the 16th century by the Gambacorta family, the feudal lords of the city.
  • The Church of San Francesco , commissioned by the inhabitants of Celenza Valfortore in memory of the ancient convent. According to tradition, the convent was founded by the poor man of Assisi on the occasion of his pilgrimage to Monte S. Angelo.
  • The Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie , built on a hill in 1740.

To continue exploring this small village and its magnificent Occhito lake click here to discover our trip planner GO HORSE.

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