Vieste is a small fishing town in the Apulia (Puglia) region of Italy, located on the most eastern part of the Gargano Peninsula. Known as the ‘Pearl of Gargano’, the town Looks out across the Adriatic Sea.
It is hard to believe this quaint haven has such a violent past. Located in a strategic location, the town was often invaded by pirates and conquerors from all over the Mediterranean.
During the 15th and 16th century the town was attacked by Turkish invaders. In the old section of the town there is a rock known as Chianca Amara (bitter stone), this is where thousands of local Christians were beheaded by the Turkish leader Rais Dragut in the 16th century. Pope Celestino V sought refuge in Vieste in 1295, after he was hunted by the newly appointed Pope Bonifacio VIII’s secret police. It wasn’t long before he was seized in town. He was taken to the fortress of Castel Fumone near Ferentino where he was confined. He would later die on the 19th of May, 1296 behind the walls of the fortress.
In 1240, Federick II had a castle built on the top of Vieste so he could enjoy his pastime, hunting. At night you can see the lights of the castle from all over Vieste. Today the town is the most popular town on the promontory, surrounded by amazing blue waters, coves and rocky shorelines. The town has won numerous environmental awards for its clean clear waters.
Things You May Not Know About Vieste
It is home to the trabucchi , an ancient wooden fishing structure.
The Chianca Amara (bitter stone) was where thousands of local Christians were beheaded by Turkish leader Rais Dragut.
There are two important festivals of Vieste celebrated each year and both are in honour the patron saints of the town. One involves a statue the other involves an omelet!