Tip of the Month

Each newsletter we highlight a place of interest around the globe that we consider as unique as Borgo di Vagli. The tips are selected as they either show respect for the environment, nature, and architectural beauty or are deeply indigenous to their individual origin. This newsletter we highlight our wonderful receptionist Daria’s trip to Vieste.

This year we were looking for a place to spend the holidays and get away from the heat of June. We pointed south-east towards Puglia region, precisely to the town of Vieste, on the Gargano Promontory; we had never been that far south and had heard great reviews from friends and people who had been before so we thought to try. In the end we were satisfied beyond expectations.

Vieste (Vìst in the local dialect), "the Gargano Pearl", is the eastern hamlet of the namesake promontory, it is called the Pearl of the Gargano for the milky white houses. The historic centre clings modestly to a spectacular promontory on the Gargano. The particular urban location of Vieste is linked to the karst nature of the Gargano Promontory, characterised by rocky layers often eroded by the sea. Just outside the medieval village the Scialara beach stretches out for many kilometres. Sandy beach, clean and shallow sea, that’s all we were looking for! We spent most of the days at the beach, swimming and playing with sand, building castles that Alessandro, our 2 year old boy would crush. In the evenings we would enjoy the cool breeze and stroll around the old town lazily checking the menu of all the little restaurants scattered around the small squares and alleys.

The lovely historical centre is the heart of the town seems to be frozen in time. Narrow alleys draped with lines of drying clothes and patrolled by slinking cats, small squares and panoramic view spots overlooking the sea, terraced houses with small balconies and joined above the streets by distinctive archways. As we were walking around I could feel the contact with the history of the place, and that reminded me of our Borgo di Vagli. There’s so much to see: the Cathedral of the Assumption of the Virgin (18th century), the Swabian Castle from the time of Frederick II, the Gothic arch of the “Porta di Alt” (upper gate) which was once the main entrance through the medieval walls. The Arco di San Felice is another arch that was carved in the white limestone by the same erosion process that created the many sea caves of the local coast and also the monolith of Pizzomunno. Pizzomunno is tied to the legend of the tragic love between the fisherman Pizzomunno and the young Cristalda (also named “Viesta”, hence the name of the city). As the story goes sirens try to kidnap Pizzomunno, but he remains loyal to his beloved Cristalda. The sirens eventually kidnap Cristalda instead and drown her in the sea. Devastated, Pizzomunno is transformed into stone and remains so today still waiting for his love’s embrace who returns every summer with high tide. Just a touch of legend to add some romantic aura to a place that is already charming.

Another thing that reminded me of Borgo di Vagli is the olive trees. As we were approaching our destination we drove through miles and miles of neatly planted olive fields. The trees looked different, they were taller and the canopy less bushy than the ones we see around Tucany and Umbria. The olive oil they produce cannot be compared to Vagli’s …

Anyway, we enjoyed our stay and we are planning to go back in the future. I hope that some of our friends at Vagli will have the chance to discover this part of Italy.



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