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The Alta Murgia
The importance of the water
The “neviere” or “nevere”
In the Alta Murgia the winter have always brought a lot of snow and during the past, when no refrigerator or cooler existed, the possibility to collect and keep the snow into the “neviere” had a high importance as the local people could earn money selling it to the cities on the coast. In fact the snow of the Murgia was used to make the ice creams and the granites in cities like Bari, Trani and Barletta.
The “neviere” were fundamental to help the economy of the region and also from the point of view of the labour maintenance.
They had the same shape of the “piscine” with a barrel vault and the roof covered by soil and grass in order to reduce the filtration of the sun. There was an upper opening used to fill the ambient called “chiave”, while, on each side, there were two others wooden doors used to extract the ice blocks. On the ground they were displaced bundles of SERMENTI? (COSA SONO?) that keep clean and solid the snow.
Many of these constructions were controlled by the authority which regulated the trade. The quality of the snow depended on how “pure” it was, as said the less contaminated as possible.