Vieste: Hidden gem of Italy

An all-in-one destination
/ New Delhi
Vieste: Hidden gem of Italy

Vieste is home to over 20 beaches backed by beautiful white limestone cliffs and a historic centre

Vieste, a small and beautiful town strategically placed atop the steep Pizzomunno cliffs between two sweeping sandy beaches, is a perfect destination for this summer’s travel plans.
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The quaint town of Vieste which translates to “the Gargano Pearl” is located in southeast Italy on the little-known Puglian promontory is a delightful blend of old world charm and modern activites. The all-in-one destination that offers people a chance to relax on the beaches backed by white limestone cliffs, walk in dense forests in the surrounding Parco Nazionale del Gargano and explore rich in culture and history in the Old Town.

Apart from relaxing beaches and cultural treasure, Vieste offers tourists a chance to indulge in thrilling adventure activities including water sports like kitesurfing, windsurfing, scuba diving, jet ski or kayaking owing to its location and the wind that blows here.

One can also relish the traditional Puglia regional cuisine such as orecchiette pasta, one of the most famous dishes in the region, often called Recchie or Recchietelle in the town, prepared with broccoli rabe at famous restaurants like Ristorante Enoteca Vesta and La Teresina.

A mix of culture and leisure

Beautiful coastal town on the rocks in Puglia

The pretty seaside town, home to over 20 beaches backed by beautiful white limestone cliffs, also boasts a historic centre rich in history and culture.

The old town of Vieste or “Vieste Vecchia” has barely changed over the years. It is a gorgeous maze of ancient houses and narrow alleyways. These alleys in the old town centre are filled with bazaars and shops mostly located in converted sheds and selling local handicraft made of terracotta, ceramic and Lecce’s stone and a variety of souvenirs. “This small old town is really beautiful! The small shops, and alleys makes you feel like you’ve entered a fairyland,” says Fecelli who visited the town in 2019.

Among the heritage sites in Vieste, the cathedral is one of the oldest examples of now-classic Puglian Romanesque style, built in the 11th century. Its tall baroque bell tower is capped with a delicate onion dome and swirled with frosting-like adornment. Ruins of the Norman castle which defended the town till stand guard.

“There is one shop in Old Town, the only artisan workshop where you carve the stone with ancient methods, called Lithos. I love going there and it is a hotspot for tourists,” Michele Rinaldi a resident of Vieste, Italy tells India Outbound.

The scenic beaches along the coast is another attraction which lures hundreds of tourists especially local Italians to Vieste every summer. San Lorenzo Beach, also known as Spiaggia del Convento is one such beach located north of town with calm water and a few campsites and beach resorts.

Explore the magnificent sea caves

Sea cave off the coast of Vieste

The beauty and unique shapes of the 26 marine caves of Vieste formed over centuries due to natural withering of rocks are one of the biggest attractions for tourists visiting the city.

Over the years, the stunning beauty of the caves have inspired the old fishermen with the most unique and curious names like the Smugglers’ Cave with a double exit that once facilitated the escape of the smugglers or the broken cave looks like an ancient castle that time has demolished the upper part from where the Aleppo pines are reflected in the emerald waters.

“It is definitely worth visiting the historic center of Vieste and its bays. As an activity I suggest visiting the Foresta Umbra and sea caves by boat,” says Rinaldi.

Tourists can make excursions by motorboat along the magnificent coastline of the Gargano, to discover the beautiful sea caves, bays, beaches and the Malacological Museum which displays more than 15000 shells from all over the world.

This stunning seaside town not very well known to non-Italians is an amazing place to explore the Gargano Peninsula and enjoy a trip that can combine beaches, historic towns, forests, mountains and food.

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