Italy, Gargano Peninsula – A Spur of an Italian Shoe
Mountainous, green Gargano peninsula is located in Puglia, a south-Italian region. Except for holidaymakers, the peninsula is popular among European botanists for there are up to 85 species of orchid, and remains of Mediterranean forest known as Foresta Umbra.
The center of the peninsula is covered with permanently green forests. The highest peaks reach an altitude of 1000 meters. Marked MTB trails go in beautiful nature, pass by olive groves and beautiful beaches. Yet they are recommended to primarily to experienced MT bikers.
The biggest attraction is diverse and romantic coastline. White up to 50 meters high cliffs hide many nooks and caves and at both of its ends there is a beautiful beach. Sand or pebble stones cover the beaches which slowly enter the sea that is always clear. You don’t search seashells, you pick them up from the sea. In many of its karst caves there are many fossils. Near the coastline, solitaire rock formations, gates, or islands peak from the sea. Like caves, even these formations have poetic names. On cliffs, there are towers from the time of Ottoman raids (16th century).
Some beaches are accessible only by boat. On Baia delle Zagare clients of the hotel reach the beach by elevator.
Gargano’s gems are its towns. They were established in the Roman times (for instance Manfredonia). Through the history, these towns were seized by invaders and faced many invasions . The worst came with the Turks in the Middle-Ages. Fortified towns in diverse terrain are no open-air museums. Ground floor of the houses serve usually as a shop, or restaurant. Mostly old residents live there. Clothes hangs on the windows, old men gossip on benches, all abide by four-hour (!) siesta. In the middle of Gargano’s coastline there is Vieste, a town of fourteen thousand, established in the 10th century BC. The castle was built on the highest peak and today it is owned by the navy and not open for the public. Right below it, there is a 11th century cathedral, once the residence of the bishop. The center of the town is made of white marble. It is surprising streets are paved with marble as well. The symbol of the town is a lighthouse at its shore. Another symbol is Pizomunno, a rock formation on one of its beaches. The Museum of Seashells is on the seafront.
North from Vieste even more picturesque Peschici town is located. Picturesque streets, passes, stairs, and balconies will be pleasure to see. Once, the town was a poor fishermen and farmer settlement. Gargano had lived in traditional way until the 1960s when the tourist industry boomed. It is not hard to believe that seventy years later there was no road. You will think about this when overcoming serpentines at the coastline.
Gargano is not plagued by omnipresent hotels. Most of its beaches are opened to public so you can take a swim on different places every day. Except for the cities we mentioned there are others worth a visit – Mattinata, Monte Sant' Angelo, Vico del Gargano… You will see authentic historical houses, churches, and fortresses everywhere. Be sure to take a boat cruise along the coastline, and caves. Should you prefer hikes then visit the central part of the peninsula. There is a network of trails and cozy rest areas. Summer season begins in mid-May on Garganu and ends at the end of September. However, I recommend to not to go there in the high season which is in August. Italian school children have holidays which means that there are many people everywhere, and prices are also higher.
You won’t be disappointed. Gargano is true paradise!
GPS: (Vieste) 41°52'58.8"N 16°10'37.7"E
Text and photo: Radka Snížková
Alberobello in the province of Bari is our third stop.
Upon night at Bari, we were headed to Polignano a Mare. The best means of transport to get there is train. It rides along the coastline every half an hour. Tickets are available at ticket machines at train stations and you can even pay by card. You will ride for 30 minutes.
Picturesque city. Even though these two words don’t usually come along in case of Bolzano they do.
Arco is a paradise for climbers in Italy. There are more than 20 climbing areas of varying difficulties and lengths. Everybody, boulders or fans of ferratas, will love the place. The town is a very pleasant place. Its picturesque town center has many restaurants and also climbers’ stores. A castle is the main landmark of Arco. It guards the town from the heights.
Bari is the capital of the Apulian region. It is situated on the Adriatic coast. It is the second largest city in southern Italy right next to Naples. Getting to Bari is quite fast. It takes about an hour and a half to fly from Prague.
V minulém díle jsme strávili nějaký čas na Sardinii a dnes se opět přesuneme na pevninu. Naším cílem bude město Lecce, které najdete na podpatku pověstné italské boty.
Towns and cities in northern Italy ensure its world fame and attention of many art enthusiast. These towns were built during the 14th and 16th centuries by rich townsmen and fans of antic culture. The word renaissance is derived from Italian word rinascito (rebirth), i.e. renewed admiration of art, literature and values of antic Rome.
The second largest town on Sicily is situated on the slopes of Europe’s highest active volcano, Mount Etna. You can get to Sicily by plane easily. Count with a transfer in Rome or Naples. Perhaps you will be lucky and find a cheap direct flight. Buses ride from the airport to the city center. However, mind that locals don’t know much English. Therefore, take a dictionary with you. And be careful when arriving at night. In the district next to the city center there are high rates of criminality. They will warn you about this at your hotel.
This national reservation located only few kilometers from Naples is a place with top-class services for demanding customers is also a place where top companies have their representation. On a small area live quite lot of inhabitants prospering from tourism.
We are leaving the Gulf of Napoli beloved by artists. We are heading to a Mediterranean island which came to existence as a result of volcanic activity in the end of Tertiary. It has been forming for millions of years to the terrain formation we happen to know as Ischia.
Lago di Garda is a very popular place for active vacations. The area surrounding the largest Italian lake is famous for its landscape, bike trails, climbing opportunities, via ferrata and the lake itself is a windsurfing paradise.
Nago is only one of many rocky formations in this area which offers great climbing. This formation offers more than 135 roads of various difficulties (from 4a to 7c+).
I used to be a tour guide in Venice. I wanted to show tourists important artists and the works they created in this city where, or near, they lived and worked. Basilica dei Frari – a monumental cathedral near the Rialto bridge offered several types.
Most of Canova’s well-known statues exist in some form as plaster models, they are of marble as well. It shows masters effort to make his work perfect.
Carnevale di Venezia, the Carnival in Venice, is the most famous Carnival in Europe. Every year it drags myriads of visitors from all-around the world.
The most visited islands in the Gulf of Venice is a picturesque island Burano. Although it is not famous by such historic landmarks as Venice itself, where tourists are attracted especially colorful atmosphere quiet town and local products lace tradition.
The Venice lagoon is allegedly hiding 118 large and small islands. Some of them are mutually connected by bridges, and from ancient times were created interesting settlements, protected by deep water and treacherous swamps from enemies. Some islands lies a little sideways from the historical monuments in the heart of Venice, but lots of them it is nice to visit yet.
Small town of Caorle belongs to the oldest relax resorts of Venice Riviera. The history of this, originally, fishers' community, comes to antique times, confirmed with historical monuments, if course.
Italy is a popular holiday destination and the south - Sicily is a fascinating mixture of cultures that deserves to be known.
Today we walk to see some of the interesting sights of this city.
Today we visit ancient city of Padova and its medieval streets in northern Italy.
You could have read about Italy, its regions and cities some of our articles. However, we have not written about one of the most famous Italian cities, Genoa.
The summer has arrived in our region with temperatures easily exceeding 30 degrees Celsius. The first week of June at a high temperature will cause many ideas for the upcoming holidays if possible spent at the sea.
Today we continue in our walks through Genoa, one of the main cities of Italian culture and history. In the last weeks we have learned something on Piazza Ferrari or Piazza Giacomo Matteoti. Today we look at another parts of the city, hopefully we help you to get in the mood for the summer and give you inspiration for prospective vacation.
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