The Gargano, in addition to the remarkable natural heritage it boasts, is also a land of saints: destinations preferred by tourists from around the world are San Giovanni Rotondo and Monte S. Angelo. San Giovanni Rotondo, once a simple agricultural village, is today the destination of numerous religious pilgrimages as the land of Padre Pio of Pietrelcina, the humble friar of the stigmata who lived and worked here. The town houses the tomb of Padre Pio and the new sanctuary dedicated to him, designed in a modern style by the famous architect Renzo Piano. Father Pio also owes the realization of the “Casa sollievo della Sofferenza”, one of the most important hospitals in Italy.
Monte S. Angelo is the highest center of the Gargano, rests on a limestone rock, in which there are numerous caves. In particular, in the one dedicated to San Michele after the admirable apparition of the Saint, a suggestive Sanctuary was built. In addition to the Basilica, Monte S. Angelo also boasts a Norman Castle and numerous churches and baptisteries to visit, as well as the famous Pulsano Abbey.
According to tradition, the Archangel Michele would appear in a second cave, now a sanctuary, three kilometers from Cagnano Varano, this cave is little known compared to the first but equally impressive, is a hundred meters long and is located along the shore of the lake of Varano.
Also from Rodi there are many excursions to discover the Gargano Natural Park and the Umbra Forest nature reserve.
The Gargano National Park, a well-known natural oasis rich in flora and fauna typical of the Mediterranean scrub, is an unspoilt and ideal place for all those who love to live in the middle of nature. The forest is equipped to receive tourists thanks to a network of footpaths, bike trails, picnic areas equipped with wooden tables and benches, bars, church, museum. The two brackish lakes of Lesina and Varano are also of particular interest in nature.
One of the most characteristic faces of the Gargano is its coast, rich in inlets and beaches of colored pebbles sheltered by white cliffs overhanging the sea.
The most suggestive show is that offered by the numerous and beautiful caves, dug over thousands of years, from the sea and the wind on this unique stretch of coast. Boats with daily departures from the Port of Rodi Garganico cover the entire stretch of coast between Rodi, Peschici and Vieste.
The Tremiti Islands, with possible excursions to the archipelago and visits to the enchanting sea caves, can be easily reached thanks to the service of motorboats departing from the new Marina di Rodi Garganico.
The Tremiti archipelago is reflected in water with emerald transparencies and represents an admirable concentration of natural beauty thanks to the fabulous natural scenery of beaches and inlets, rocks and cliffs, suggestive caves, rocks, stacks, coves, pine groves and Mediterranean scrub. The small archipelago consists of three major islands: San Domino, San Nicola, Capraia. To visit the Benedictine Abbey and the church of Santa Maria a Mare. The seabed in front of the islands is a place for fantastic scuba diving, unanimously recognized as an integral marine reserve.
Rodi Garganico is a village of ancient maritime traditions located on the north coast of the Gargano, in front of the Adriatic Sea.
Rodi Garganico view from the sea
It is characterized by long beaches interrupted only by the rocky point where the town is located and is surrounded by a lush and luxuriant vegetation consists mainly of olive groves, citrus groves, pine and fig trees. Very appreciated by tourists for the quality of its bathing water, for its particularly fine sand and for the fascinating and characteristic landscapes that surround it. The stretch of sea of the Gargano that affects the coast is shallow and therefore is a guarantee of safety for the less experienced in swimming and in particular for families with their children and teenagers.
As proof of the remarkable tourist and environmental value of this part of the Mountain of the Sun, over the years numerous and coveted recognitions have arrived, first of all the Blue Flag of Europe for the beaches and the landings and the 4 Legambiente sails. The old town, of medieval origin and full of particular sloping streets, has particular houses built in such a way that from each one it was possible to see the sea. There are many points of cultural interest such as the Sanctuary of the “Madonna della libera” in Baroque style of 1700, the Church of the Holy Crucifix, the Church of St. Nicholas built in 1680, the ancient church of Santa Barbara in 1091 located 700 meters from the center inhabited, and finally the Church of San Pietro and the Santo Spirito.
EXCURSIONS The central position of Rodi Garganico compared to the Gargano makes the town an ideal starting point for many excursions between nature, art and religion to discover the most suggestive corners of the Gargano Promontory. Tourist resorts par excellence, Rodi, Peschici and Vieste, are considered for their beauty “the pearls of the Gargano”. Their beaches, historical centers rich in history and their culinary tradition have always been a strong attraction for tourists.
A stay on the Gargano can not be separated from an excursion to the Tremiti Islands and the Umbra Forest and a boat ride along the coast, embellished by fantastic sea caves. A visit to the characteristic historical centers and sanctuaries of San Michele Arcangelo in Monte Sant’Angelo and San Pio da Pietrelcina in San Giovanni Rotondo is also a must.