This is the twelfth stage of the Via Appia by foot, from the town of Palazzo San Gervasio to the town of Venosa.
Link to Stage 11: http://www.wikiloc.com/wikiloc/view.do?id=15629377
Link to Stage 13: http://www.wikiloc.com/wikiloc/view.do?id=15810166
In general, the track follows the Via Appia Antica loosely as it's usually not possible to hike the original route anymore. In large part because the old road has been upgraded over the centuries and is now a highway in some section or a main provincial road where cars are speeding by you. In other sections, the road is simply gone. Instead, I've searched for nice roads, a little away from any main roads where there is a lot less traffic (or none at all), while trying to stay true to the original road where possible.
This stage of the track follows the Via Appia Antica quite closely as far as I could figure out, until just outside Venosa where the original road crossed the gorge more north than this route. However, this one is much more enjoyable.
The starting point of this stage is the church of St. Nicolas. On the north-west side of the church a small track takes you down to the main road and out of town. Before you walked even 1 kilometer, you'll pass by the pumps of the local water pipes. There is also a fountain outside, but it has a sign saying it's not potable. It looks clean, but I recommend treating the water. Please note that is the last point to get water until you get to Venosa.
Just after the water station, you make a left turn and follow the damaged asphalt road until your odometer reaches 3.7 km. Just after passing a small stream, you leave the asphalt road and turn right on a dirt road. After around 1 km, you get to the top of the hill and at the houses, you make a left turn, still following the dirt road.
When your odometer reaches 7km, you get to a Y-junction and you take the left turn. After another 2 km, you can only hope the wind comes from the North as you pass by a garbage dump.
At odometer 16, you reach the end of the dirt road and come on the main road into town. From here it snakes down with a couple of left and right turns until you get to the bottom of the gorge. Here you have the choice to take the marked track to the right or follow the main road to the centre of town.
The track ends at the central roundabout in town. If you walk in the eastern direction from here, you'll pass some public toilets, just outside the castle, a number of small bars and coffeeshops and further in the old town a number of public fountains, all marked as a way point with this track.
In case you plan to spend the night in Venosa, you'll find several hotels listed on booking.com as well as a number of apartments and rooms on AirBnB. Below are also some details of 3 B&Bs I came across.
N40°57'47.33" E15°49'14.75" -> Domus Aurea B&B: Cell +39 338 8246386
N40°57'48.67" E15°49'09.74" -> B&B "Al vecchio campanile": 097236565, +39 339 778 0361
N40°57'55.72" E15°49'29.11" -> B&B Diadumeno: Via Annunziata 51, +39 380 4690436, +39 333 3095575, email@example.com
I have no preference for any hotel, room or B&B, but it might give you some options.
Enjoy the trail end leave a comment. In particular if you know some interesting way points should be included or an alternate track that could/should be used. Any information is much appreciated.