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The Gargano Peninsula

Parco Nazionale del Gargano Visitors' Center
Monte Sant'Angelo , Puglia
Tel: 39 088 456 5444's insider take:

A huge limestone peninsula jutting east into the Adriatic, the Gargano was for many centuries a wild and solitary place, isolated from the fertile Puglian tablelands to the south and west. Most of the peninsula is now part of the Parco Nazionale del Gargano, set up in 1991 in an effort to check the tourist development that had already spoiled parts of the rugged coastline and to protect the delicate ecosystem of the densely forested interior, home to thousands of species of flora and fauna. Its remoteness made the Gargano a place of religious seclusion and devotion—at its most intense in the towns of Monte Sant'Angelo, with its sanctuary built around a cave where the archangel Michael was said to have appeared in the fifth century, and San Giovanni Rotondo, which is today entirely given over to the modern-day cult of Padre Pio, the miracle-working monk who lived and died here.

Information may have changed since the date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.