Villa basso

holidays on gargano

The Gargano promontory rises like an island from the flat plains of the Tavoliere, geographically and culturally different from the rest of Puglia. Its landscape is remarkably diverse: beaches and lagoons to the north, a rocky, indented eastern coast and a mountainous, green heartland of oaks and beech trees - reminiscent of a Germanic forest rather than a corner of southern Italy.

For centuries the promontory was extremely isolated, visited only by pilgrims making their way along the valley to Monte Sant’Angelo and its shrine. Nowadays tourism has taken off in a big way, especially on the coast around Vieste, but in 1991 the whole peninsula became a national park, helping to protect the Gargano from overbearing.

There are places which, as a result of their history, position or the exceptional events which occurred there, are shrouded in a veil of almost tangible sacrality pervading every nook and cranny.

The Gargano is a “holy” land, a much-visited venue for some of the most important religious gatherings on a world-wide scale. The apparition of the Archangel Michael on Mount Gargano is without doubt the core of religious experience in this land. Thousands of pilgrims travel to visit the cold, dark grotto which Michael chose as his earthly dwelling. But is not only the cult of St. Michael which exalts the religious spirit of this area - there are the many churches, set against breath-taking backdrops, such as the Convent of St. Matthew in San Marco in Lamis.

In more recent times, the presence of Padre Pio, who lived in San Giovanni Rotondo, has provided a strong attraction for millions of people. But it is the Gargano as a whole which expresses its divine beauty in every time and space.



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