This is the fourteenth stage of the Via Appia by foot, from a few kilometers outside the town of Melfi to the town of Lacedonia
Link to Stage 13: http://www.wikiloc.com/wikiloc/view.do?id=15810166
Link to Stage 15: http://www.wikiloc.com/wikiloc/view.do?id=15823954
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.
As far as I could find out, Melfi is not an official stop on the Via Appia, but as the track doesn't pass through any towns for at least the next 40 km, I decided to add an extra stop to the track for restocking.
This stage is one of the longer and ascending stages of the Via Appia so far, but a better alternative could not be found. So take the additional length and ascend in the second half of the stage into account when planning. You may want to take an early start.
This stage starts at the indicated stealth camping site. During the entire day, you'll see wind turbines around you, different sizes, different models. These turbines are here for a good reason: It's windy. So I hope the weather is excellent today as rainy day might make this stage extra difficult.
The first 12 km of this stage, you'll descent around 400 meters on a gradual slope. Even though the road is asphalted, don't expect much traffic on the road.
Once you reach the bottom of the valley, you'll pass over track and a bridge as well as under a major road. The train track doesn't seem to be in use anymore.
The next 10 km of the track are quite tuf, over the distance, you'll gain 500 meters. The slope is quite constant, but continuous. Along the asphalted road, you'll see that the road is heavily damaged in places, making it even less likely that you'll see anything else than tractors on the part of the road.
Once you reach the top of the mountain/hill, there is one more valley to cross to get to Lacedonia. During the last 6 km, you'll descent 150 meters and need to ascend it again.
As you get into Lacedonia, you'll find a potable water point just before you'll get to the centre of town (see waypoint).
This stage ends in the towns square that has a (coffee) bar which is also the only place offering rooms. It can be booked through Booking.com and costs around 50 euro per person, which seems a bit expensive.
You may get a better deal if you contact them directly:
BAR CENTRALE DI ZICHELLA DONATO
4, Via Francesco De Sanctis - 83046 Lacedonia (AV)
tel. 0827 84486
I've not stayed in the place, so I can't speak towards the value for money of this place, but if you just spend a night at a tent in the fields, you may appreciate a hot shower...
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.