From Altamura center follow road SS96 Via Bari towards Bari. Turn left into Via Mura Megalitiche, after 50 m turn right into Via Vecchia Buoncammino. At crossing after 600 m stay on this road (keep left). 6.1 km on this road towards north, turn left 1 km to the doline. Road ends at huge parking lot. Not signposted, but in the dry plain is the doline visible from far.
|Open:||no restrictions |
|Light:||Incandescent Electric Light System|
|Dimension:||L=530 m, W=430 m, VR=85 m.|
|Guided tours:||self guided. after appointment by Visite Guidate Coop., Archè a r.l., Tel. +39-080-3149622.|
|Address:||Pulo di Altamura, SP157, 1481, 70022 Altamura BA.|
|As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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Il Pulo (also Pulo di Altamura) is a huge hole in the ground, a Doline which was formed by the collapse of a cave beneath. Located in a vegetation-less plain, it looks at first like a meteor crater, similar to the Meteor Crater in Arizona. But it is not circular, one side is straight, the other is curved inwards, altogether rather irregular. And with a close look this becomes clear: there are cliffs on the opposite side of the doline, obviously with karst caves and speleothems. To the west there is a sort of valley leading into the doline. It seems at some times of the year a small rivulet is flowing into the doline and vanishes through the collapse debris into the cave below.
Dolines are either shaped like a shaft with vertikal walls, and more or less flat floor, typically collapse dolines, or they are shaped like a bowl, typically solutional dolines. This is a bowl shaped doline. We almost classified it as a Tiankeng. Tiankengs are extremely huge dolines, but there are two definitions for this term. The simple one is, "it has a diameter and depth greater than 100 m", the other one "it is a collapse of a huge chamber". It looks more like a solutional doline, than a collapse doline. It may have formed by multiple collapses and disintegration of a network of small caves or by paleokarst dissolution. Even the simpler definition, only by size, does not apply, as it is only 85 m deep. So this doline actually fails both definitions, this is actually not a tiankeng, but it is really, really close.