“Of tourism” and not “for tourism”. Once the concept is understood, you will enjoy the Tremiti Islands in Puglia.
San Nicola, San Domino and Capraia, the three main islands of the Italian archipelago off the Gargano have been our destination for summer holidays. We won’t hide our disorientation at the first glance given by the fame of the Tremiti and by the sobriety with which these places are maintained.
These are islands that over the centuries lived micro-worlds of condemnation, atonement and redemption. First, with the legend of King Diomedes and with the relegation for adultery of the granddaughter of the Roman emperor Augustus, afterwards, with the creation of the Benedictine monastery which was alternated by the Cistercians and the regular Canons of Sant’Agostino, and lastly, with gay confinement in the fascist era, the Tremiti were marked by extreme social changes of which still denotes the contradictions. The only one that remains unchanged and far from the heaviness of certain themes is the magnificent nature.
Although the sea, due to the strong winds, has not been generous to us and has severely limited our exploration, the beauty of the Cala dei Turchi in Capraia, the beach of the Pagliai, the area of the elephant rock and the salt cave, was enough to leave us with a delightful memory of diving among hundreds of fish and clear waters cradled by white jagged coastlines.
Not just the sea. San Domino, the largest island, also offers the opportunity to go into the pine forest for relaxing walks along the paths that line it; It is also easy to come across multiple caper plants. Recently the lighthouse area has been the victim of an arson that has transformed it into a place full of visual contradictions and, therefore, of charm: overlooking a magnificent panorama, the charred trees now paint black shadows on the golden grass and in the clear sky.
Saint Nicholas is, instead, the historical memory of the Tremiti. Here, each step tells a different story, but not only. If you go beyond the Church of Santa Maria a Mare, you can walk along a small road that leads to the tip of the island: a quiet walk, but absolutely not to be missed.
We try to answer some frequently asked questions, on the basis of our experience.
The Tremiti Islands can be reached by a ferry from Termoli. The train station of the latter is not far from the port and is a viable route on foot.
Having made the whole holiday by boat, we didn’t plan the accommodation, but we can give you two tips on where to sleep in the Tremiti and which to choose between the two islands:
- St. Nicholas is the least active in terms of tourism, but the most authentic if you want to live it as an islander. In our opinion, there is no better way to enjoy it than staying at Le Case dei Nonni: renovated rooms in the first “Camerone” built in 1844 by the Bourbons in the heart of the island. Alternatively, a few steps away, there is La Casa di Gino.
- San Domino is more lively, but don’t expect (luckily) an Ibiza. Here the choice is slightly wider and ranges from Villaggio Punta Diamante to Villaggio Touring Club Italia and Elefante apartments.
If you are wondering where to eat on the Tremiti Islands, the answer is “Da Enrichetta”: a much more refined cuisine than the classic seafood spaghetti. Do not expect meager portions, everything is definitely balanced both in quantity and in the combinations of flavors. Very recommended to spend a great evening, although the location does not fully reflect the validity of this restaurant.
We visited the Tremiti Islands during the first week of September and it is a perfect time to go there as there is not a strong influx of tourists. The only drawback can be the rough sea.
Hopefully we have answered exhaustively, but if you have any other questions, please do not hesitate to write them in the comments below!
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