An illustrated virtual guide to Gargano in Apulia (south of Italy)

My microstock photography is often about travel in my beautiful country, so why do not start a blog about the marvellous destinations that my country has to offer?

I start with something I really know, something I really love and something I really shooted thousands of times in my life: even if I live in a different italian region (Emilia Romagna in the cold north) the place I call "my second home" is the charming italian Gargano area, part of the biggest south italy region: Apulia (or Puglia in italian). Gargano is also called "lo sperone d'italia" witch mean: the spur of Italy, the boot state. Infact the shape of his promontory, located at south-east of the peninsula- its really like the spur of a boot if you see satellite photos or maps. The entire Gargano area is under the big province of Foggia. From an arid area called Tavoliere delle Puglie

you can exit from the highway to go straight to the head of the promontory starting visiting wonderful sand and stone beaches, charming picturesque villages clinging to the sea and paradise islands with clear water and stunning panoramas like the famous Isole Tremiti.

The apulia village of Bovino - Foggia province - Italy and the Tavoliere delle Puglie

Let's discover the main landmarks starting from geographic positions:

if you came from north italy the first villages you may meet just outside the highway is Lesina, a fishing village surrounded by Lesina lake, the smallest of the two lakes of Gargano:

Lesina lake and village - Gargano - apulia - Italy

then you will see the coast from Torre Mileto to Foce Varano, a lamb of ground between lake varano and the Adriatic Sea. Everything is wild and bordered by a thick pine forest where you can find many campings and free beaches.

Foggia, Italy - August 13, 2014: two fishermans pull their fishnets

Ischitella foce varano foggia, Apulia region

Passed Foce Varano and Lido del Sole, you will reach one of the most picturesque towns of the region: Rodi Garganico, famous for his modern touristic dock and pier marina, and for the old town located on an high hill overlooking the sea and a splendid panorama

boats harbor typical Italian seaside village Rodi Garganico Gargano Apulia Italy colorful

after that, another few kilometers of coast and free sand beaches, you will reach a wooden area: you are entering the Foresta Umbra area, the green lung of the Gargano.

you can take a small detour and reach the hinterland visiting the Foresta Umbra park from the little lake at the visitor center and lets the kids have fun with the deers and fawns in the fences by the main street.

Mother help baby enter feet in lake water during family trip in nature of Foresta Umbra - Gargano Apulia - Italy

Then you can eat a traditional Paposcia where it was created, in the charming town of Vico del Gargano:

Paposcia flat bread of Gargano area and Foggia province in Apulia - traditional italy food

Colorful south italy village alley in Apulia in the town of Vico del Gargano, Italy

If you are that kind of people who love religion places you can't miss San Giovanni Rotondo (always inland village). The place where the Saint Padre Pio of Pietralcina have done his famous miracles. Here you can visit a new church designed by the famous italian architect Renzo Piano:

San Giovanni Rotondo new church by Renzo Piano exterior panoramic

San Giovanni Rotondo church by Renzo Piano

When you have finished with the spiritual moment you can return to the coast and meet one of the two most beautiful and renowned villages of the Gargano, I'm speaking of the breathless Peschici.You can't miss a walk in the historic district of this town by night and a dinner in a famous restaurant inside a cave:

Peschici Gargano Italy

Peschici gargano italy apulia sea perched village

here you do not have any good reason to miss a romantic aperitif at the sunset in one of the many Trabucchi's on the beach. the Trabucchi machines was used in past to fishing, with giang fishnets speaded down the waters. The typical gargano fish is the sea bream

Trabucco Peschici Gargano - Puglia - Italy

Rest for the night and in the next morning be ready for a long day! Drive a little 20 km and reach what is called "the pearl of gargano", the queen of all the villages in this side of Apulia: welcome in the white amazing and sunny Vieste!

The picture of this town speak by itself: just enjoy the traditional souvenir shops, the church among the sea, the lighthouse islands and the white facades of the building. take a walk at the beautiful and long seafront, starting from the monolithic white rock of Pizzomunno, "pezzo di mondo" in apulian dialect witch means "piece of the world" in english.

Vieste gargano apulia italy window

Vieste adriatic sea gargano apulia italy panoramic cliff

Vieste lighthouse island gargano puglia eufemia

Beach of vieste - gargano area - apulia region - italy

at the end of the walk you can take the car and go further to south: from this point you can see the most beautiful part of the coast of the Gargano promontory. white pebbles beaches ovelook the see by steeped cliffs right to a really clear and pure salt water. parking is not the best and often you have to walk for some kilometers descending in the woods to reach the beaches, but it absolutely worth the fatigue!

Do not miss the wonderful Baia delle Zagare with the famous Apulian natural symbols: the Faraglioni di Puglia. And take a rest in the charming exclusives beaches like Vignanotica and Pugnochiuso.

Italian beaches - Zagare baia - Vieste - Gargano - Puglia

Spiaggia di Vignanotica Vignanotica beach in Gargano - Apuli

Arco di San Felice San Felice arc in Gargano - San Felice bay

Then you can pass the village of Mattinata and finish your visit on a high hill town called Monte Sant'Angelo. Here you can visit the San Michele sanctuary (one of the three famous Saint Micheal european sanctuaries with Mont Saint Michelle in France and the Sacra di San Michele in Piemonte, both are geographically located in a line in the maps, check it if you don't believe me).

Monte Sant Angelo - south italy village - Gargano - Puglia

Monte Sant Angelo sanctuary

In the surrounding area of Monte Sant Angelo I suggest also the visito to the isolated, peaceful and incredibly scenographic Eremo di Pulsano ( Pulsano Hermitage), a magical spiritual place when you can enjoy an outstanding view over the gulf of Manfredonia.

Puglia church hermitage Pulsano - Monte Sant Angelo - Foggia - Gargano

Gulf of Manfredonia - Puglia - from the Pulsano hermitage - Moun

What else to say? As maritime locations the best season to visit is obviously the summer (june, july and august).. I hope you Enjoyed the infos and the photograph I took of this places, bye!


Photo credits: Luca Lorenzelli.

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