Vieste del Gargano, the pearl of Apulia
Is between the most ancient cities of Daunia and had its glory between the X and XVI centuries A.D. It has been a Greek colony and after that Roman town; with Diocletian the city had its defensor civitas (few colonies of Apulia could proud such privilege).
Vieste is situated at the oriental extremity of Gargano and lies on a slope of about 50 meters above sea level; it descends gently until it laps for more than three quarters, from the sea. It seems asleep and magic under the watchful and powerful eyes of Svevo Castle that from the top of the promontory dominates from centuries. The medieval quarter of Vieste winds with its narrow and winding streets, among white houses with small and steep and narrow staircases that now and then are merged by slender arches that impose to the visitor a sense of wonder and respect, charm and mystery.
This quarter faces the precipice of “Ripa”, a true balcony which projects on a blue endless sea. It extends towards the cape of St. Francis and is perhaps the most striking part of the whole town of Vieste. At north, “Fora the door” is the district that arose in the early ‘900: linear, rigid, with a chessboard form, with wide and paved streets. The two and three level houses are simple but comfortable and the predominant white of the exterior facades gives them more clarity.
The modern part of Vieste, the newest of the town, lies in a broad arc that goes from south to west, from the Castle beach to the Madonna della Libera, from Carmine to old Fontana to the beach of St. Lorenzo and across the Pantanello. Ravaged by constant attacks, especially from Turks in XV and XVI centuries, Vieste was unable to send much of its past, which was anyway remarkable both in history and in artworks.
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