Posted by: Debra Kolkka | May 9, 2019

Vieste…a long way to come to see a rock

Vieste is a town in the province of Foggia in Puglia, or Apulia, in the south of Italy. It is a marine resort in Gargano, the little bit that sticks out like a spur on the heel of the Italian boot.

In medieval times the port was frequently attacked by pirates, Saracens and other enemies of the Kingdom of Naples. Now it basks in peaceful sunshine.

It has received Blue Flags for the purity of its waters from the Foundation for Environment Education. Decades ago it relied on fishing and agriculture, but tourism is its main money earner. Thousands flock here in the summer.

We drove in through forests and olive trees. We came to what we thought was Vieste, but it was Peschici sitting prettily on a cliff.

Vieste was another 30 minutes away on narrow, winding roads.

Vieste’s most known sight is Pizzomunno, a vertical rocky monolith standing 25metres near Spiaggio del Castello.

Our hotel was right beside it. They said they had a good view of the rock and they were correct.

The pictures of Pizzomunno don’t show the hotel on the top. Town planners have a lot to answer for.

The beach beside Pizzomunno was pleasant enough, with reasonable sand.

We wandered in the historic centre, which was practically empty. We were a bit too early in the season.

The cathedral is in Apulia Romanesque style. The bell tower is 18th century Baroque built after the original collapsed.

The church was dressed up for an event.

The lighthouse was built in 1867.

There were some pretty views from the top of the town.

…and some not. Those town planners again. The new part of town is quite large, to cope with the hoards of tourist who descend on the town in summer. I thought it was completely charmless and a bad introduction to the town, a chaotic, ramshackle collection of buildings.

This is the best view of Vieste.

The hotel recommended Vecchio Vieste for dinner. It sits beside one of the old entrances into the town.

The food was great and our charming waiter, Renato,told us with pride about the local ingredients and the story of the pirates who broke through the door on the entrance beside us and killed 500 residents.

I know Vieste looks quite nice in the photos, but I tried to pick the best of it. I was disappointed with the town. It needs some serious love. If I close my eyes and imagine it in the season, at night, with lights on, shops open and people about it would be better.

Here is a photo of Pizzomunno in the late afternoon.

…and the early morning.



  1. Bella….looking forward to seeing more of your days in Puglia….

    • Very pretty, pity about the awful weather.

  2. Wow. This had to be an unbelievable surprise. Stunning! I imagine narrow, winding roads are the norm in southern Italy. True?

    • We are accustomed to narrow, winding roads, Casa Debbio is 8 kilometres of narrow roads with switchbacks. The driving in the south is another thing altogether.

  3. I think that the cathedral was decorated for the festivity of Santa Maria di Merino, which is the image on the altar, that is celebrated on the 9th of May.

    • Yes, I think that’s what it was. We heard something while we were having dinner and there was possibly a procession. The church looked lovely.

  4. So many steps! You must have got a real workout. Your food looks scrumptious, but the pirate story might have been a bit scary for dinner time. 😀

    • Lots of steps to climb. The historical centre was not very big so it wasn’t a big problem.

      • I remember that there were so many steps everywhere we travelled in Italy. I enjoyed the ups and downs of our days there. 😅

  5. Well, it looks so gorgeous. I love the views of the narrow streets and of the ocean. The decorated church looks like a beautiful kaleidoscope. What fascinating stories those stones could tell.

    • It looks better from a distance. I can see that the beach would make a popular holiday destination.

  6. What a beautiful spot! Great photos ….but the location of that clifftop hotel in unreal. Unbelievable that anyone would get permission to build there. Thank you for the info. We plan to visit soon.

    • Vieste is a bit shabby and the new part of the town is awful. The coastline is spectacular.

  7. That is a very beautiful coastline.

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