Gargano’s Towns

CAGNANO VARANO

The village of Cagnano is situated a few kilometers from a lagoon which offers the visitor a rare spectacle of natural beauty. Lying near the site of the ancient village of Uria, Cagnano is built around the Palazzo Baronale next to the Church of Santa Maria della Pieta’. About three kilometers from here is the grotto where the Archangel Michael is said to have appeared. Every year on May 8th, the apparition is celebrated.

Where to stay in Cagnano Varano

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Gargano

CARPINO

Carpino has linked its name to the revival of the folk music of this area which is now seen as a cultural heritage to be preserved and studied.

Officially, this village originated in 1158, in a Bull issued by Pope Hadrian IV, but other documents date it after.

Built on a low hill lined with lovingly tended olive groves, Carpino is par excellence the “Oil town”. The visitor may also admire the archaeological complex called the “grotte di Minutille”, the Church of Santa Croce and Cirillo.

Where to stay in Carpino

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ISCHITELLA

Ischitella boasts a splendid view over the lagoon of Varano and the sea, although it is really a mountain farming village.
A legend tells that the pine-tree opposite the Church of San Francesco was planted from seed by St. Frances himself. The great trunk towers over one of the most important mediaeval centers of the whole of the Gargano – the “Terra Vecchia” district. The village features narrow alleys and long stairways in a herringbone layout, with houses overlooking the valleys below.

Where to stay in Ischitella

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MATTINATA

Mattinata is one of the mos popular seaside resorts on this coast, with the two smaller resorts of Mattinatella and the Baia delle Zagare. The area around the village grows olives, almonds, Indian figs and apricots. Matinum, as it was originally called, was much visited in Roman times, and was an important port for the wine and oil trade. The ruins of the Benedectine Abbey of the Santissima Trinita’ on Monte Sacro are well worth a visit.

Where to stay in Mattinata

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Monte Sant'Angelo

Monte Sant’Angelo – Photo © Renata

MONTE SANT’ANGELO

800 meters above sea-level, Monte Sant’Angelo is inextricably linked to its history with the apparition of the Archangel Michael to whom the sanctuary of the same name is dedicated.

Thousands of tourist and pilgrims visit this area.

The early settlement on the mount is preserved in the mediaeval Junno district, with its rows of white houses characterised by big chimney stacks.

The otari Tomb (San Giovanni in Tumba), Santa Maria Maggiore and the castle are interesting to visit, as is the Tancredi Museum of Arts and Popular Traditions.

Where to stay in Monte Sant’Angelo

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PESCHICI

The historical center of Peschici seems to rise out the rock on which it is built, and is considered the “gem of the Gargano”. The little mediaeval district, perfectly preserved, enhances this resort which is one of the most important on the promontory. The most interesting site to visit is the castle built in the Recinto Baronale, but the little Church of San Michele and the abbey of Santa Maria di Calena, founded in the 11th century by the Benedictines, are also charming.

Where to stay in Peschici

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RIGNANO GARGANICO

This village is nicknamed the “Balcony of Apulia”, and it overlooks the great plain of Apulia. Thanks to its position, it is a popular delta-planing site. Neolithic cave paintings and a dolmen discovered in the Grotta Paglicci are make it a most fascinating archaeological site. Don’t forget to try the bread, and the famous “Musciska” – salted, dried meat.

Where to stay in Rignano Garganico

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Rodi Garganico

Rodi Garganico street – Photo © pattyvi

RODI GARGANICO

Rodi Garganico is an interesting seaside village which lies on a small promontory on the northern side of the Gargano between two long sandbanks and surrounded by citrus fruit groves.

This ancient Cretan colony offers a relaxing view of a clear sea and beautiful beaches.

Its art is no less interesting, and the visitor may admire the Sanctuary of Santa Maria della Libera, the Churches of San Nicola and the Crucifix, the Convent of Santo Spirito and San Pietro, and the alleys of the harbour area with their monumental chimneys stacks.

Where to stay in Rodi Garganico

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SAN GIOVANNI ROTONDO

San Giovanni Rotondo

A meeting place for all religious people, San Giovanni Rotondo was where Padre Pio spent his life. The many churches bear witness to the religiosity of the people in this area – the little Church of San Giovanni or della Rotonda from whom the town seems to have taken its name, the Church of Sant’Onofrio, the Chapel of the Madonna di Loreto and the Church of Sant’Orsola.

The whole town is overlooked by Monte Calvo which, with its 1065 meters, is the highest peak in Gargano.

Where to stay in San Giovanni Rotondo

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SAN MARCO IN LAMIS

The village of San Marco in Lamis lies 550 meters above the sea-level. This area is another in which religiosity plays an important role. The Sanctuary of Santa Maria di Stignano and the Matrice Church are worth a visit while the Convent of San Matteo, probably built in the 6th century, is the major attraction. The convent still houses and extraordinary collection of ancient texts. A local tradition which is interesting to watch is the “fracchie” race, on Good Friday, in which bundles of blazing logs are dragged through the village.

Where to stay in San Marco in Lamis

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Sannicandro Garganico

SANNICANDRO GARGANICO

Sannicandro is one of the most populous villages of the whole Gargano peninsula, and it was built around the Norman castle. However, the whole historical center is fascinating.

The most important sites are the Church of Santa Maria del Borgo, the ancient Byzantine district of Devia, the Romanic Apulian Church of Santa Maria di Monte d’Elio, and the beautiful arena of Pozzantina.

VICO DEL GARGANO

Vico del Gargano may be considered the capital of the Gargano forests, and a large part of the Foresta Umbra lies within its territory. One of the most charming sites is the terraced buildings which follow the natural curves of the hill they are built on. The most interesting artistic features are the remains of a castle which was probably commisioned by Frederic II, and the Capuchin Convent. Right opposite the Convent is the enormous hornbeam oak which, according to the Archives of the Convent, is about 350 years old. In Vico there are also the best springs in the promontory.

Where to stay in Vico del Gargano

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VIESTE

Vieste

Vieste lies on a small rocky peninsula, between S. Lorenzo and the castle beach. The harbor is important for trade with the shores on the other side of the Adriatic. The center of the village is most picturesque with its narrow alleys, arches, and white-washed houses.

There is also an interesting cathedral in Romanic-Apulian Style which seems to have been built on the site of an ancient pagan temple.

The beach at Vieste is overlooked by the Pizzomunno, a huge, natural monolith.

Where to stay in Vieste

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