The Gargano

Published by GAL Gargano on

Gargano Pulsano

And with this spirit of discovery and exploration we invite you to live the experiences proposed, get to know the Gargano and then tell it.

The long beaches of the Adriatic Sea, which for miles and kilometers have drawn the coastal landscape of the Southern Apulia, suddenly come to a halt.

The cereal, dry fields of the Tavoliere, suddenly meet rocky hills, covered with ancient woods.

Rarely in Italy the territory has a border so clear and a so different landscape.

This is why the promontory of Gargano is a separate world, completely independent from the Apennine system. Its maximum height is Mount Calvo (1065 meters) and then Montenero (1014 meters).

The wide limestone terraces that form the promontory slope gently into the north-western side towards the coastal lagoons of Lesina and Varano, rich in fish and no deep. The eastern part of the promontory falls to the sea with white cliffs overlooking the sea and, in every season, they offer wild and amazing landscapes.

The whole territory is characterized by karstic phenomena, due to the calcareous nature of the rock with caves that offered protection to the inhabitants during the prehistoric times. The rain fallen on the mountains reappears in coastal springs. The most well-known sinkholes among the over 4000 found in Gargano, is the “Pozzatina”, situated between San Nicandro to San Marco in Lamis, a depression of 100 meters deep with a perimeter of 1800 and the “Cento pozzi”, near Rignano Garganico, so called for the presence of numerous water holes. To these elements, typical of karst, are added the spectacular cliffs and the numerous sea caves situated between Vieste and Mattinata.

The thousand years old forests of the Gargano, still constitute a dominant element of the landscape. And they represent one of the salient features of the promontory. The Umbra Forest (UNESCO) with its luxuriant vegetation of beech trees, turkey oaks, holm oaks and hornbeams able, is certainly one of the symbolic places of the territory. The “Bosco Quarto, the depressed beech forest of Ischitella and Carpino, the “Bosco Spigno”, the Bosco Spinapulci” are also very enchanting places to visit.

To these ‘green giants’ is added another peculiarity about the flora of the territory: the wild orchid. They are the more than 80 species and 17 different varieties, a real treasure for photographers and enthusiasts.

The coastal landscape is characterized by fragrant Mediterranean vegetation, such as myrtle, mastic, cistus, etc. There are Aleppo pines groves on the jagged east coast, as on the sand dunes separating the coastal lakes of Lesina and Varano from the sea and in the arid sub mountainous lands. The northern coast, which slopes towards the lagoons with rolling hills, is more suitable for cultivations and orchards. Almond trees, olive trees, fruit trees and horticulture near the towns make the agricultural landscape typical and still well preserved in which the citrus groves of the territory of Vico del Gargano, Rodi and Ischitella stand out. Here, protected by dry-stone walls and windbreaks, there are the oranges “Bionda del Gargano” and “Duretta” and the “Femminiello”, the oldest lemon in Italy, now revalued thanks to the establishment of an oasis of citrus and a consortium of producers. The avifauna of the coastal area is very rich, characterized mainly by the presence of sea gulls, cormorants and peregrine falcons that nest on the high cliffs of the eastern coast; but in the whole Gargano promontory live well 170 different species of birds and birds of prey, including five different varieties of woodpeckers. This extraordinary variety of landscapes and natural habitats, with many botanical and faunal rarities, is the great wealth of the Gargano. To protect and enhance this immense natural, and cultural heritage, in 1992 was established the Gargano National Park. It covers 120,000 hectares and most of the promontory. Symbol and engine of the environmental defense of this land, the Park not only operates for the protection of the arboreal wealth and fauna of great value, but also guarantees the protection of villages and historic sites and the enhancement of ancient rural habitats through the recovery of traditional agricultural activities. The Gargano National Park includes 18 municipalities in the province of Foggia, the Tremiti archipelago and 10 nautical miles from the north coast of the Gargano.

The coastal landscape is characterized by fragrant Mediterranean vegetation, such as myrtle, mastic, cistus, etc. There are Aleppo pines groves on the jagged east coast, as on the sand dunes separating the coastal lakes of Lesina and Varano from the sea and in the arid sub mountainous lands. The northern coast, which slopes towards the lagoons with rolling hills, is more suitable for cultivations and orchards. Almond trees, olive trees, fruit trees and horticulture near the towns make the agricultural landscape typical and still well preserved in which the citrus groves of the territory of Vico del Gargano, Rodi and Ischitella stand out. Here, protected by dry-stone walls and windbreaks, there are the oranges “Bionda del Gargano” and “Duretta” and the “Femminiello”, the oldest lemon in Italy, now revalued thanks to the establishment of an oasis of citrus and a consortium of producers. The avifauna of the coastal area is very rich, characterized mainly by the presence of sea gulls, cormorants and peregrine falcons that nest on the high cliffs of the eastern coast; but in the whole Gargano promontory live well 170 different species of birds and birds of prey, including five different varieties of woodpeckers.

This extraordinary variety of landscapes and natural habitats, with many botanical and faunal rarities, is the great wealth of the Gargano. To protect and enhance this immense natural, and cultural heritage, in 1992 was established the Gargano National Park. It covers 120,000 hectares and most of the promontory. Symbol and engine of the environmental defense of this land, the Park not only operates for the protection of the arboreal wealth and fauna of great value, but also guarantees the protection of villages and historic sites and the enhancement of ancient rural habitats through the recovery of traditional agricultural activities. The Gargano National Park includes 18 municipalities in the province of Foggia, the Tremiti archipelago and 10 nautical miles from the north coast of the Gargano.

The sea of Tremiti islands is a true jewel of the Mediterranean made of precipices of rock and cliffs shaped by the wind, caves and cliffs, deep and rocky seabed extraordinarily rich in marine fauna and flora. The archipelago consists of five islands: San Nicola, San Domino, Capraia, the rock of Cretaccio and the island of Pianosa, the easternmost and distant; only the first two are inhabited. The Tremiti Islands have been declared a protected marine reserve and the island of Pianosa, almost at the limit of international waters, is an integral marine reserve, with absolute prohibition of bathing, fishing and navigation less than 500 meters from its shores. Here are allowed only organized visits, previously authorized, by the reserve management institution.

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