Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Off the Beaten Path: Gargano

“Life is a paradise for those who love many things with a passion.”  Leo Buscaglia

You ask me where would I like to go?  I'll always choose somewhere, anywhere, near the sea.  I was born a few miles from the ocean, and I'm still under its spell.  So when it was time to choose a summer-time destination I chose the Gargano National Park.  If Italy is a boot, the Gargano National Park is the spur.  Located in the region of Apuglia (Puglia in Italian), the Gargano is a round penninsula surrounded by the Adriatic sea. And why would you want to go there?  Because it's summer time, because it's beautiful and because simply staring at that amazingly clean water is enough to recharge your batteries back to 100%.

The Gargano natural reserve is a protected park that houses the Umbra Forest.  It's winding roads go on for miles surrounded by olive groves,  and beech trees (side note: if you get car sick, like me, get ready for it!), but what it is most famous for is its wonderful beaches.  It certainly looks like paradise on earth.

One of the most picturesque towns in the area is Vieste, known as the pearl of the Gargano.  If you are interested in other than sunbathing, take a ride to visit it.  Its narrow streets and amazing ocean views make it a perfect break from the beach.  I had a very nice meal at Ristorante La Tavernetta (Via Celestino V, 5, Vieste).  Even though you're near the ocean and will want to try some fish or seafood, don't forget to try the region's famous "orecchiette" (little ears) a round shaped pasta with lots of texture. (Read this too: 10 Things  You Need to Know Before Eating in Italy)

If shopping is more your thing and you're looking for souvenirs, pick up their little sculptures made out of a lava rock that weight practically nothing.  

Whether you visit Gargano for its natural beauty, its beaches or its wonderful cuisine, you will be seeing a spot of this world that certainly resembles paradise.

Hope you are having a nice summer!

Arrivederci for now,

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