Posted by: kimberlysullivan | June 19, 2012

Looking for the picture-perfect beach holiday? Try Vieste

A photo doesn’t lie and Vieste, this lovely, perched seaside town located in the Gargano peninsula (the spur of the Italian boot) in the region of Puglia, honestly  is this picture-perfect.

The area has ancient origins, evidenced by the 3rd century tombs and Ancient Greek vases discovered around the town. The town and the entire coastline suffered numerous attacks by Saracen and Ottoman invaders in the 16th and 17th centuries.

Dotting the coastline are numerous, impressive watchtowers, which once served to warn the population of invaders arriving by sea.

More recently, this little fishing village has developed as a popular tourist site. Vieste is a wonderful holiday spot.

The town itself is filled with picturesque streets and lovely views over the sea.

There are many restaurants in the old town center and a colourful daily market off of Via dei XXIV maggio, in the new town. Stock up on the fresh pasta, local cheeses, wines, olive oil, fresh olives and peperoncino.

Vieste serves as a wonderful base for exploring the interesting Gargano region, with its beautiful Umbra Forest, pretty coastal towns, dramatic coastlines, long stretches of sandy beaches and wonderful coves and pebble beaches carved into the white cliffs.

This is also a great place to take a boat trip to the beautiful Tremiti Islands, a place I covered on an earlier post.

There’s also a colourful local legend about the creation of the Pizzomunno rock formation, located on the long sandy beach just at the edge of Vieste. Long ago, a poor fisherman named Pizzomunno lived in the village and he and a local girl, Cristalda, were deeply  in love.

Pizzomunno was extremely handsome and each day the sirens would follow his fishing boat and try to capture his heart, but the faithful Pizzomunno was never tempted. One evening, as the young couple watched the sunset from the Vieste  beach, the jealous sirens snatched Cristalda from her beloved and dragged her down to the depths of the sea.

The next morning, the local fisherman found a white rock formation on the beach and they knew it was Pizzomunno, who had been petrified by his overwhelming grief and chose to stand silent watch on the beach where he had lost his Cristalda.

Legend has it that every one hundred years, Cristalda returns from the depths of the ocean to be reunited – just for one night- with her Pizzomunno.

Perhaps Cristalda’s return will coincide with your visit to this beautiful town. Be sure to keep your eyes peeled and you might catch a glimpse of the innamorati in this spectacular seaside destination.

Even without a Cristalda/Pizzomunno sighting, you’re bound to enjoy your time in beautiful Vieste.


  1. A post and photos that should motivate some to visit the area – the place deserves a visit, and the journey definitely worth it – wonderful place…😉

    • Hi Ledrakenoir! Thanks for the comment. I’m glad you like the Gargano, too. It’s a beautiful place. With the heat wave we have in Italy, I’d love to be there now. : )

  2. Aahh, the Italian coast, just a dream, thanks for the lovely vision of bliss.

  3. Kimberly, thanks for sharing these photos and the interesting information. Every time I read your blog I feel I am traveling. What a beautiful gift. Fascinating.

    • Thanks, Julia! Well, travel planning is half the fun. I always love reading about places I haven’t been (yet) and daydreaming…

  4. Reblogged this on The Italian South and commented:
    The only time I visited the Gargano, a severe rain forced me to buy an umbrella in a village shop. We didn’t make it to Vieste, but this post from Kimberly Sullivan has inspired me to put it on my list.

    • Ciao, Sandy! So sorry to hear you hit bad weather in the Gargano. That really ruins holiday plans! But it is a stunning region and I hope you will try again. It’s certainly worth it.

  5. where abouts did you stay?

  6. […] coves, cut into the stunning white cliffs of the Gargano coastline. These are located between the pretty town of Vieste and southward towards the town of […]

  7. […] a trip to Vieste, Puglia, we visited the coastal town of Termoli. If you’re passing by on your trip to southern Italy, […]

  8. […] stayed in picturesque Vieste,  took a boat trip to the stunning Tremiti Islands, and explored all the beautiful swimming coves […]

  9. […] other Puglia tips, see my earlier posts on the seaside town of Vieste, Gargano’s best beaches, visiting the Tremiti Islands, medieval Vico del Gargano, and, if […]

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