Peschici
© Guido Vrola / 123RF
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Peschici

By Amy Adejokun Amy Adejokun Section editor

Our Editorial team's advice

Seen from the sandy bay nestled between the pine green of the surrounding hills, Pescici seems to be anchored on the high promontory where it overlooks the sea, with its limestone houses that seem to arise from the rock.

The town's history began in the 10th century, when Emperor Otto asked the Slavs to chase away the Saracens of Gargano in exchange for the colonies of Peschici and Vico. During the Norman, Swabian and Aragonese domination of the town, comprised of marine adventures, attacks, attempted raids and defence, watchtowers rose up on the promontories of Peschici, from which you can admire breathtaking views.

To see

Set in the promontory that juts into the sea, the historical town centre is surrounded by ramparts belonging to a former castle of Norman origin. It is divided into lanes, steps and rows of white houses with churches, quaint shops and restaurants.

In the area, we recommend that you visit the Abbey of Calena, one of the oldest in Italy, and the Sanctuary of Loreto, which was built between the 16th and 17th century by a group of fishermen. Its dimensions are reminiscent of a ship, bearing witness to what some unfortunate fishermen went through when they escaped death during a storm thanks to the saint to whom they dedicated the church.

On the coast, you will most likely be attracted by the trabucchi, which are curious wooden structures positioned in an unstable way on the high rocks overlooking the sea. These wooden structures are instruments traditionally used for fishing. The complex system of ropes and planks allow the fishermen to throw the nets and lift their catch of the day.

To do

In summer, the small town of Peschici is dedicated to seaside tourism, thanks to its sandy coastline interspersed with pine forests and rocky headlands, .

Its location is an excellent starting point for excursions to the Umbrian Forest, in the backcountry, or to the sea, towards the Tremiti islands and the Marine Caves.

pros

  • +  The charm of the historical centre
  • +  The sandy beaches, perfect for seaside stays with the family
  • +  The local cuisine, with plenty of specialities based on fish and vegetables

cons

  • -  The condition of the roads isn't always that great, especially in the mountains

To think about

There is really only one coastal road connecting the various villages of Gargano. Being rather busy in summer, make sure you pay lots of attention at night, since the white lines on the road are not always very visible.

To avoid

Mostly popular in summer, Gargano also offers some beautiful surprises in spring. In winter, however, most places are closed, which makes visiting a little difficult and creates a rather sad atmosphere, as though the region is just waiting for summer.

To try

The cuisine of Peschici, and of Gargano in general, brings together flavours from the land and the sea, proposing fish-based dishes but also tasty vegetables cooked in a thousand ways, without forgetting the delicious homemade pastas. Let yourself be tempted by the taralli, the orecchietti (a traditional type of pasta with turnip shoots or tomatoes and cacioricotta), and the beans, chicory and grilled aubergines.

For an evening meal in a restaurant we recommend "Grotta delle Rondini", located beside the port.

To bring back

The historical centre of Peschici is full of shops selling souvenirs and crafts; unfortunately the products are often a bit stereotypical. Our advice is to favour the products of the south, like a good bottle of oil or limoncello, and not bother with postcards.
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