The Gargano beyond the sea: 3 things to do in the hinterland


Gargano, beyond the sea there is more. Three places that I recommend you visit beyond the sea of ​​Puglia, certainly the Umbrian forest, Monte Sant'Angelo the white town and also San Giovanni Rotondo.

Who thinks the Gargano both beach and sea are very wrong, this peninsula has a heart full of places to discover, three in particular are those that I have had the opportunity to visit and to which I think it is worth dedicating some time.



The Gargano beyond the sea: 3 things to do in the hinterland

Umbra Forest

La Umbra Forest, it is the perfect place to escape from the heat and spend a few hours walking in the countryside. This area, also called "Garden of Italy" it has a very particular constitution, flora and fauna, different from those of the rest of our country because the Gargano was originally an island that was located off the coast of the Balkans. The more than 10 thousand hectares occupied by the forest can be visited in part independently, in part only accompanied by specialized guides and in part closed to the public. For those who decide to follow these paths, an idea to stay cool a little longer is to gear up and stop for a picnic in one of the rest areas between the road and the entrance to the woods.



The Gargano beyond the sea: 3 things to do in the hinterland

San Giovanni Rotondo

Perhaps not everyone knows that San Giovanni Rotondo, the city where Padre Pio lived, is right here in the Gargano. I admit that I had been alone on this trip, I probably would not have gone this far, but in retrospect I am happy to have been there, even if only for having known better the story of the friar of Pietralcina, of which, up to that moment, I really knew little. The impression was not the most positive: as in many other places linked to religious events (Medjugorje comes to mind for example), tourism has brought more crowds and Made in China souvenir shops. But that's not all, the very modern and highly contested church dedicated to Padre Pio, designed by Renzo Piano is an important building for its particular architecture and which (religious issues aside) is worth a visit, as is the nearby ancient church of Santa Maria delle Grazie next to which the convent and the Great Church dating back to 1959 stand. .

The Gargano beyond the sea: 3 things to do in the hinterland

Monte Sant'Angelo

One of the places I most appreciated in the Gargano peninsula was Monte Sant'Angelo, the town is located at more than 800 meters above sea level and has an undisputed charm for its white buildings set one into the other. The day I visited this town the weather was uncertain and white clouds crossed the narrow streets giving it an incredible charm, increased even more by the fact that it was almost completely deserted. During a walk we found the shop of a craftsman who works wood and leather to make objects such as masks and musical instruments. The best known attraction of this place, however, is the Sanctuary of San Michele, Unesco World Heritage Site since 2011, with a history that is lost over the centuries and that began with the first appearance of the Saint in the Gargano. Only by accessing and descending a flight of stairs you will discover a large and suggestive cave, where there is also the altar dedicated to St. Michael the Archangel. Going even deeper you find yourself in the crypts, dating back to the Lombard period, where in the signs on the walls you can find the testimonies of pilgrimages of the past. This Sanctuary is also of great importance because it is located on the "line of San Michele" which from Mont Saint Michel reaches Jerusalem, crossing the Michaelite places of worship.



Have I convinced you to sacrifice half a day on the beach for one of these pearls? :)

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