The National park of Gargano is located in the south-west of Italy in the region of Apulia and is a long time wish to visit. I knew it is one of the most beautiful places in Italy and this last summer I had the possibility to go for a day.
When we left the Amalfi Coast region, where we stayed for a week, we decided not to go straight home but to make a diversion to the east coast and go to the the famous Gargano.
The peninsula is a mountain massif made of highland and peaks. It forms the spur of the Italian boot. It highest point is the Monte Calvo with 1.065 m/3.494 ft above sea level. The park was founded in 1991.
Famous is the ancient forest, the so called Foresta Umbra. This forest is the only remaining oak and beech forest which once covered most of the European mainland. The Gargano was mentioned also by Horace in his Ode II, ix.
We arrived a very hot day via Manfredonia, right south of the peninsula The first thing we were really astonished was the blue turquoise water of the Adriatic Sea. Together with the light green vegetation and the white limestone cliffs it was one of the most photographic sceneries I have ever seen.
We stopped at one of the innumerable beaches with white, fine sand to have lunch. Naturally I had something fishy, my Sweety had some pasta.
There were countless places where we stopped to take pictures of the oh so blue sea. At a certain point we tried to go to a beach, but that was more difficult than we thought. We ended up to go to a beach right at Vieste, one of the white cities in this area. There are other tourist places like Mattinata or Peschici.
There are also two salt lakes in the northern part of the area. We passed them at night time and didn’t see very much. I know that they are a perfect place for bird-watching.
We drove over to Vieste after a few hours on the beach and swimming in the warm sea. It was lovely and I wished to stay the rest of the day but…
Vieste is a dream of a small medieval town. Built on the white cliffs the houses are of the same white color. The little streets are narrow and the old town is free from any traffic. We walked around and had dinner right at sunset sitting at the sea. Vieste is a very romantic borgo!
We left before darkness and drove along the east-northern part to arrive at the autostrada, the highway to go north to Ancona and further.
We both are sure one day we will stay a longer time here in the National park of Gargano and will see also the Sanctuary of Saint Michael’s and hike in the Foresta Umbra, maybe to find some fossils of animals that lived here millions of years before.
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National Park of Gargano, Apulia/Italy:
For further information:
Official website of the National Park of Gargano