During the days spent in the Gargano one of the things that I preferred (of course in addition to the local cuisine!) was the boat tour to visit the Marine Caves of Vieste. We left early in the morning from Rodi Garganico and by 9.30 we were already on the boat ready to go.
The first part we traveled was around the island with the lighthouse that is exactly in front of the port of Vieste, here we have been told that lives Carmelo, a goat that acts as guardian. After skirting the part of the town that overlooks the sea we have continued to the caves.
The coast immediately shows itself in all its beauty: steep and white cliffs plunge into the water that takes on the color of the sky. Here it seems that the limestone rock of which these walls are made has been shaped by skilled hands, while centuries, if not millennia, of slow work of wind, sea and salt have been used, to arrive at these incredible wrinkled and scratched walls. Every meter traveled by boat corresponds to an ever more ecstatic expression, for a more blue reflection in the water or a thin strip of white sand.
This itinerary is like this: a continuous amazement that for tens of kilometers accompanies the discovery of the caves, 16 in total, each with its particular characteristic and almost all visited with the boat. My favorites? The Grotta smashed, without cover and for this reason takes on beautiful colors and is overridden by plants, the Grotta dei due occhi, where the water is even more transparent and aquamarine because it is lit from below, thanks to the underground openings in the rock, and finally the Grotto palette, with its multi-colored walls.
However, not only the caves are the excursion: but also stone arches and dream bays accessible only by sea. To constellate the coast there are several Saracen towers: the first of these, further south, indicated with smoke signals the arrival of the enemies to the next tower, and consequently the others did the same, until arriving in Vieste. It is said that the only time that this system did not work the city was conquered and linked to the event and the subsequent violent events is dedicated to the “Chianca amara” a monument that is located in the historic center. Another characteristic element of the coast is the presence of numerous trebuchets, wooden structures that were used for fishing.
Our excursion was organized by Zangardi Tours, a Tour Operator who has been living and working in this area for over thirty years, with the aim of promoting its wealth and beauty. Apart from Vieste, during the summer, it is also possible to leave directly from Rodi Garganico, the itinerary also lasts a whole day, with a stop to swim.
di Chiara Regazzini