Vieste has a candid heart, white as milk, which is tinged with blue and green and appears every day more beautiful. Vieste has ancient origins and rises on a rocky ridge overlooking the sea.
The pearl of the Gargano fascinates every traveler with its white houses that frame narrow alleys and squares with a view of the sea.
Vieste is located in Apulia, it is a town in the province of Foggia.
You can also read: Apulia, top 10 Point of Interest
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What to do and see in Vieste
1 – Discover Vieste beaches and sea
In Vieste, you will find some of the most beautiful beaches of Gargano and also of Puglia.
The entire coast of the Gargano that goes from the coast of Isola del Varano to Mattinata is a succession of wonderful coves and sandy beaches, limestone cliffs, and white cliffs, dunes, and Mediterranean maquis.
Going to choose the most beautiful beaches of the Gargano is certainly not a task of the easiest and then I just give you some clues to help you find your favorite beach.
Definitely worth a dip in the Bay of Vignanotica, a wonderful beach of white sand that recalls the reflections of the whiteness of the cliffs that frame it.
Worth a visit is also the Scialmarino Beach, a long beach with shallow sand.
Behind the beach, there is the church of Santa Maria di Merino and at the end of the same the naturalistic-archaeological Oasis La Salata, the most precious early Christian testimony of the Gargano.
The beach of Pizzomunno is also worth a visit, a stone’s throw from the historic center of Vieste, a perfect destination for families and children thanks to the soft golden sand and the presence of many bathing establishments. The beach is characterized by one huge white limestone rock, Pizzomunno, the white giant, which symbolizes Vieste and is about 26 meters high.
Another place worth visiting is without a doubt the Arch of San Felice. This spectacular place is located just outside Vieste, on the coast to Pugnochiuso, and offers a wonderful view!
It’s one of those postcard places, today we’d say selfies, which makes everything look even more beautiful and romantic!
Last but not least, Cala Molinella.
A sandy beach, with a backdrop of golden and fine sand that slopes gently. The waters are transparent and the view from the beach is truly unique. On one side you can see Vieste, the pearl of the Gargano, on the other the historic Trabucco of Molinella.
2- Walking through the streets of the historic center of Vieste
The Old Vieste rises on a rocky spur that dominates the sea and extends from the beach of the castle to that of the "small marina" crossing the thin strip of land called "Punta San Francesco".
The village has very ancient origins and has kept intact the original characters, with its characteristic irregular streets, white houses, squares, and its wonderful viewpoints.
Do not miss a visit to the Cathedral, the spiritual heart of the city together with the high bell tower, and the Swabian castle, built by Emperor Frederick II.
In the upper part of the medieval village, near the Swabian castle, stands the wonderful Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta di Vieste also known as Duomo di Vieste.
Build the second half of the eleventh century it preserves the primitive Romanesque-Apulian style, one of the oldest in Puglia, while the bell tower is late Baroque.
The interior has a sober Romanesque basilica plan, divided into three naves divided by columns with Corinthian and cubic capitals, with animal motifs.
The painted wooden ceiling is of Neapolitan Baroque style and contains three large canvases representing the Madonna Assunta, San Giorgio, and San Michele Arcangelo.
The cathedral houses the wooden statue of the fourteenth century Madonna di Santa Maria di Merino, protector of Vieste who, according to legend, was found by some sailors on the beach overlooking the village.
A few meters from the cathedral you will see a stone called "la Chianca Amara", the place where women, old people, and children were killed in 1554, during a raid of the bloodthirsty pirate hordes Turkish Draguth Rais.
Continuing towards the high area you get to the Swabian Castle, alas after a steep climb, made with a small in his arms is a bit tiring but the view pays for every effort.
Here you can enjoy an incomparable view over the whole city, the sea, the Gargano coast, the island, and the lighthouse of Sant'Eufemia.
Another point of interest in the historic center is the Piazzetta Petrone.
After having turned among the small and wonderful alleys of Vieste we meet on this square, as in a fairy tale. A terrace overlooking the sea, a spectacular view, a small square with ancient charm. If you want to be romantic in the evening stop here for a candlelit dinner.
3 - Art from the artisans of Vieste
The alleys and alleys of the old town of Vieste are full of bazaars, shops, and shops where you can find souvenirs of various types and origins.
Today I want to make you discover places that the distracted tourist can not grasp, shops with a unique charm that will allow you to enter in the heart of the most authentic Viestani.
In Via Cesare Battisti 37, Carlo and Raffaele Gentile, father and son, are waiting for you in the limestone workshop.
From the cold stone, Carlo and Raffaele manage to bring out the warm heart, telling scenes of daily life, ancient heroes, myths, and legends that become pure art and poetry, unique pieces. That of Carlo and Raffaele is a bet, which does not follow market rules, a bet won every time from a block of limestone born a real work of art.
Once visited the workshop of the Gentile continues in the direction of the cathedral and right in front stop to observe the creations of Alessandra Ruo. The Art-Otahi is a small shop full of treasures, precious stones, and jewels.
Alessandra is a thoroughbred Viestan who, in order not to leave her beloved country, has invented a job thanks to her creativity, fantasy, and artistic studies.
In her workshop, Alessandra finds her world, made of special projects, dreams, and a deep bond with her land. Among his creations and his precious jewels also the reinterpretation of Mazzetto del Gargano which, as usual, is given to the unborn child at baptism.
It is a bunch of silver and coral with miniatures of objects each with different meanings but still auspicious.
Then there is in Vieste a certain Vincenzo Monacis the craftsman of the Trabucchi, Cenzino for friends, who for 30 years has cut, system, and made miniatures of the Trabucchi, ancient fishing machines, once the most important source of livelihood for many families.
His small laboratory is located right in the historic center of Vieste. Here Vincenzo takes care of the details of these small masterpieces.
Vincenzo can be found in Piazza Seggio in Vieste.
4 - Take part in a fishing trip in one of the Trabucchi of Gargano
Participating in a fishing trip on one of the "Trabucchi del Gargano", the giants of the sea, is one of the most wonderful and exciting experiences to do here in Vieste.
You should know that until the mid-seventies the Trabucchi had a crucial role in the landscape of fishing in the Gargano and were a source of livelihood for many families.
With the advent of industrial fishing operated by entire fleets of large fishing boats, the Trabuccolanti began to abandon their Trabucchi.
These giant fishing machines require continuous and rather complex and expensive maintenance. Today it is the "Association La Rinascita dei Trabucchi Storici del Gargano" that is putting in place a system aimed at protecting and enhancing and recovering the historic Trabucchi of Gargano, to return them to the old splendor.
Thanks to this association, the ancient tradition of Trabucchi is not lost but is valued day after day.
And when you arrive in the Gargano, one of the most beautiful experiences you can do is to participate in a fishing demonstration along with the Trabuccolanti. You can’t imagine the emotion that our children experienced while fishing.
During the fishing, the Trabuccollanti of Trabucco San Lorenzo, the brothers Spalatro Gianni and Michele, illustrated the ancient history of the Trabucco and explained in detail the techniques of construction and fishing.
Fishing is also enlivened by tastings of typical Apulian products.
Fishing demonstrations in Vieste are organized from May to September usually on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
For any information and to book this unforgettable experience you can write to: firstname.lastname@example.org
5 - Immerse yourself in the green of the Umbrian Forest
The Gargano National Park is one of the most fascinating places in the Gargano, an ideal place to escape the summer heat and enjoy a dip in nature.
The Umbra Forest is the green lung of the Gargano National Park and develops up to about 830 m of altitude for about 10,000 hectares.
The name "umbra" comes from the Latin: dark, shady and as you can imagine is a place to immerse yourself in nature and enjoy so much beauty.
The Umbrian Forest is rich in flora, boasts over 2,000 plant species. Very rich also the fauna and typical is the native Gargano roe deer, the wild cat, the wild boar, the badger, the weasel, the dormouse.
It is no less the avifauna: the Royal Owl, the Common Owl, the Woodpecker, the Tawny Owl, the Barn owl, the Magpie, the Woodcock, and many others. It’s not that hard to meet some of these animals just by driving.
You can cross the Umbra Forest on foot, by bike, on horseback, or by car, of course, the slower your path inside and the more interesting discoveries you can make. Some of these paths are accessible to people with disabilities.
Who wants can also book a tour of the Umbrian Forest in Jeep and make an evocative itinerary surrounded by greenery. Along the way some stops in authentic Apulian farms where you can taste the authentic local flavors.
Also recommended a tasty and delicious stop at Rifugio Sfilzi where we ate divinely spending the taste with products of the area!
If you prefer an easier stop at the restaurant, in the Umbrian Forest you will find many rest areas equipped with tables and games for children!
What to eat in Vieste
In all the Gargano and so also in Vieste you eat divinely. The cuisine is typical of Puglia, enriched by tasty and unique specialties.
The old town is full of restaurants for all tastes and all budgets and you will also find many farms where you can taste local products.
But let’s start with the appetizer, in Apulia, there is never a shortage of bruschetta with tomato seasoned with that drizzle of Apulian oil that makes everything even better.
Extra virgin olive oil can be one of the finest souvenirs to take home and of course, you will find many farms ready to let you taste it.
Another dish not to be missed is the Caciocavallo that in the area of Gargano you can taste in its variant Podolica, which is produced with milk of cows of the Podolica breed that are raised in the semi-wild, also eating wild herbs.
The table in Vieste is also embellished by fresh fish, cuttlefish, octopus, and oysters accompanied by a nice glass of wine, authentic flavors of Gargano, as well as the typical and tasty fish soup called "u' ciambott".
Have you ever tasted the orecchiette with turnip tops? If the answer is no you are in the right place to do it!
Finally, I have to give you another tip: In Vieste, just near the Cathedral you will find the Paposcia of the Pizzeria da Adalt, I tasted it once in the classic version, buffalo mozzarella with tomato and rocket and a drizzle of oil, and remained in my heart. If you come by, stop and you won’t regret it.
Other excursions not to be missed in Vieste and surroundings
If you stay in Vieste for a few days and have finished all the attractions I inform you that from here depart the ferries to the Tremiti Islands, a corner of paradise to see at least once in a lifetime.
You can also choose to make excursions to the Grotte Marine or a tour of the Gargano coast by sea.
Do not miss a visit to the wonderful Peschici.
The town of Peschici rises on a cliff in a splendid position overlooking the sea. The historic center of Peschici is full of truly wonderful views, and like Vieste offers many artisan shops and many places where you can taste the typical dishes of the Apulian tradition.
Where to sleep in Vieste
Vieste and all the Gargano are a tourist destination, so there are plenty of good places where you can stay. Here a selection of them, obviously you can click and then change the parameters that fit you best.