The only Italian archipelago in the Adriatic, the Tremiti are made up of five islands (San Domino, the most famous, San Nicola, historical and administrative center, Capraia, Cretaccio, Pianosa) and some very modest rocks. It is located about twenty kilometers off the northern coast of the Gargano, easily reachable from the neighboring coasts by helicopter or by ship. The sea of the Tremiti IslandsThe Tremiti Islands develop for a total surface of about 3 sq. Km. The only inhabited islands are San Nicola and San Domino with a population of about 350 inhabitants (which, moreover, do not live there for the entire year), making the town the smallest in Puglia but, probably, the most famous from the point of tourist sight, as evidenced also by the residences of many VIPs. The archipelago of the Tremiti Islands is a small corner of paradise, where the clarity of the sea, the colorful and clean waters, the pleasant climate, the pure air, the vegetation lush, uncontaminated nature, coasts open by coves and suggestive caves create areas of an ethereal beauty that no passionate about the sea and nature should resist. This extraordinary sanctuary of nature has been awarded the most deserved recognition of the Blue Flag. The economy of the Tremiti Islands is mainly based on fishing, agriculture and, above all, on tourism, which has seen birth, given the always greater summer demand, numerous hotels, residences, tourist villages and camping. The archipelago is the ideal destination for a holiday of relaxation and "romanticism." Although of modest extension, the Tremiti Islands offer a surprising collection of environmental situations that one would expect to find in an area of other dimensions. In about 20 km of coastline are represented the most significant morphologies: low coasts with sandy beaches, bays and headlands, high rocky coasts with cliffs overlooking the sea. The islands have different morphological characteristics and in some complementary ways: San Domino, the Larger island, covered by a forest of Aleppo pines and holm oaks, is undoubtedly the most beautiful in terms of landscape-naturalistic. St. Nicholas is rich in monuments, testimony to the history of the islands: towers, imposing fortifications, walls, churches and cloisters of a fortress-abbey, Santa Maria a Mare, which holds a significant historical and artistic interest.Capraia is deserted with trees and buildings, but covered with herbs and dazzling flowers, the destination and home of an immense colony of seagulls Cretaccio, little more than a rock, is a natural bridge between San Domino and San Nicola and for some time it was really the "pillar" of a bridge that connected the two major islands. about twenty kilometers north-east of the island of Capraia, falls administratively in the municipality of the Tremiti Islands. It constitutes the integral reserve of the Marine Park.
In the easternmost part of the Gargano rises Vieste. Around it the most varied landscapes of Puglia: from the coast, where the pines almost bathe their foliage in the limpid water, in the restful shade of secular olive trees and almond trees clinging on gentle slopes; from the vineyards, to the Mediterranean maquis rich in scented essences; from the oak woods and the marvelous forest in a tangle of branches and fronds that barely allow you to see the rays of the sun, the "masserie" and the "haystacks" that populate the countryside; from natural caves to those excavated by men, often used in the past as houses and places of worship; from the majestic basilica, to the small rupestrian churches; from the testimonies of ancient civilizations, to the presence of new hotel and extra-hotel equipment; from the colorful fishing boats in the picturesque harbor, to a fair, kind and industrious population, linked to ancient traditions of life ... all in a long summer, as the days when the temperature exceeds 25 ° C during the day on average as early as May and end at the end of September.The most fascinating part of the Vieste landscape is, undoubtedly, offered by the coastal area that stretches for over 30 km in a fantastic succession of glimpses of the most evocative of the whole Mediterranean: from the wide and long beaches of golden sand, to the high and rocky coast, whose color, which varies from dazzling white to pink, to the yellow of corroded limestone, stands out in an amazing way against the intense blue of the sea, strewn with of faraglioni and islets. The rock is affected by picturesque coves that welcome white beaches, while elsewhere the erosion of the sea has created caves that hold unsuspected enchantments of lights and colors. Names like San Felice bay (with massive faraglioni and a daring "architiello", suggestive open arch in the rock), bay of Campi (closed by an islet), cala Sanguinara, bay of Portogreco, bay of Pugnochiuso, bay of Vignanotica, in one to the grottoes of the Smugglers (with two exits), Campana piccola, Calda (so called due to the presence of lukewarm springs), Sfondata (40m high, from whose collapsed vault face contorted pines of Aleppo), of the two Eyes (with two openings) , close to each other, from which light blue rays of light filter), of the Colombi, of the Marbles, of the Sirens, of the Rooms, have made Vieste famous all over the world. The erosion of the sea and the winds has, moreover, detached from the rocky mass a gigantic monolith, about 20m high, called "Pizzomunno". In this regard, a tender legend of love is handed down: Cristalda, daughter of a marine deity, fell in love with a citizen of Vieste. Their love was, however, impossible, so Cristalda's parents transformed Pizzomunno, this is the name of the young lover, in a rock. Every hundred years, on full moon nights, the rock in the middle of the sea resumes its human form to embrace the beloved. From the legend to history, the passage is short, and invites us to dive into the past. Traces of prehistoric villages and ancient civilizations communicate to us at a distance a sense of mystery and mystical solemnity that envelops and fascinates, in what is certainly one of the oldest cities of Daunia. Vieste also presents an uninterrupted historical sequence from the Neolithic to the modern age, and in every where reverberate gestures and events that have had their theater in a complex architectural complex ever so suggestive: the medieval village, crossed by narrow alleys and stairways between houses white, on a rocky promontory, surmounted by the Castle and the Cathedral. Recently, on the walls of a cave on the islet of the lighthouse of Vieste, ancient and medieval inscriptions have been identified, some of which show how the cave was dedicated to Venus Sosandra ("savior of men"). An extraordinary discovery that recalls the problem of the location of Uria Gargano (where Catullus attests to the cult of Venus), and helps to give new charm to the city "... all white as a vestal and its sacred fire burns in the white lighthouse rising from the low white islet too, which stretches like a cetacean on the water's edge ... ", as Elsa Raimondi wrote, a delicate writer. From Vieste the motorboats and hydrofoils leave for the Tremiti Islands, which emerge from the sea about 20 km from the northern coast of the Gargano. It is a group consisting of three islets (San Domino, San Nicola and Capraia) of just 3 sq km and some rocks, where the water has the color of the most transparent sapphire and with coves where it is still possible to listen to Illyrians turned into seagulls that the night with human voice mourn their extinct Diomede.Da Vieste a road surrounded by brooms leads to the Foresta Umbra (Km 29), impressive for the beauty of the specimens, for the silence and loneliness that reign there broken only by the song of myriads of birds and the sound of tree fronds shaken by the wind. It is one of the greatest naturalistic jewels of southern Italy (10.000 Ha), where - among other things - there are numerous stopping points, pedestrian paths, a visitor center (exposed important prehistoric finds discovered in the area, as well as the representation, with stuffed specimens of local fauna). Crossing the forest, and walking through the internal area where you can see a real "stone landscape", built partly by nature and partly by man (dry stone walls, temporary shelters called "pagliai", "masserie" , fences to defend animals, etc.), you reach Monte Sant'Angelo (61 km from Vieste), a characteristic medieval village and religious center developed around the sanctuary of San Michele Arcangelo, one of the oldest of Christianity, a very suggestive complex of cavities obtained in the rock and architectural additions of various eras.La suggestive coastal road south of Vieste then allows you to reach in 40 Km Mattinata, white island of narrow houses among olive groves and rugged mountains that surround the sides, and, in 60 Km , Manfredonia, the city founded by King Manfredi. The coastal road north of Vieste leads to Peschici, Rodi Garganico and the coastal lakes of Lesina and Varano. Any itinerary you take, the return to Vieste always gives rise to new emotions.