Gargano is not an region of Italy we’ve been very familiar with – but on a long road trip, which took in most of the country, we decided to delve into this area. And how glad are we that we did – and when we did.
The peninsula is situated in the region of Foggia, north of Puglia – and unlike the whitewashed hilltop villages and roilling countryside, littered with trulli stone buildings, the countryside here changes to mountainous, with thick forests. It feels unlike the rest of Italy – in fact, Lonely Planet comments :
Once connected to what is now Dalmatia (in Croatia), the ‘spur’ of the Italian boot has more in common with the land mass across the sea than with the rest of Italy.
We were there in October, and the heat of summer had gone, to be replaced by mild days – with brilliant blue skies and sunshine – and crisper nights. The autumn colours were just stunning – every shade of red, orange, yellow – creating a beautiful palette against the blue backdrop of the sky. Roads twist and wind around the peninsula, and when hugging the coast road, the sea is ever present, with sheer cliffs dropping dramatically into the Adriatic, far below.
We were so lucky to experience nature very close up – a swooping eagle, wild horses and Alpine cows being the most memorable. We discovered the beautiful seaside town of Peschici – quite empty in late October, making us feel as if we were the only people visiting, which was lovely.
We found accommodation online as we were on the road, and found a lovely B&B, just outside of Peschici, called Borgo del Nespolo. Because of the time of year, we were the only guests, but our host, Gianluigi, could not have been more accommodating, particularly with the lavish (and virtually sugar-free!) breakfast he laid out on the patio next morning…
We feel very lucky to have visited Gargano when we did – and to catch the end of season at Borgo del Nespolo. Whether we return or not, we don’t know. The world is a big place. But we’re very glad we decided to explore this unknown, and quite remote, Italian peninsula, on our road trip.