Key holiday centre
From blunt headlands and sea arches the Gargano’s most important holiday centre pushes out, like a crocodile’s snout, a little promontory of its own, covered with houses, edged with the narrowest of promenades.
Already a port when the ancient Greeks came to Italy, Vieste has the usual Swabian castle and Romanesque cathedral and, in the Saracen Cave on the shore, some catacombs. On its doorstep, east and west, are golden kilometres of yacht moorings, beach clubs, discos, hotels of neo-Moorish type, dozens of campsites and 20 or more holiday villages. The hotel consortia have pounced on the best coves and opened them up (for residents only) with steps, lifts/elevators in the cliffs and motor boats. Old Vieste remains an enclave of tiny alley-ways and white-washed cottages. Do not miss the Castello beach, a 4-km arc of sand with safe bathing south of the town; or the sharp-edged, dazzlingly-white 26-m monolith of Pizzomunno, in dialect ‘edge of the world’. In summer, local boatmen offer trips which thread caves and arches inaccessible from land.
The inland attraction is a well-wooded hillscape – here you are on the edge of Foresta Umbra. Climb for ten minutes for a broadening view of exceptional coastal scenery, stack rocks offshore and Testa del Gargano, the culmination of the capes, 10 km south.
Villa holidays: the Vieste area plus all of Gargano offer many holiday rental properties.
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