EffettiGargano: when Francesco Trimigno decided to call his agency that offers private trips to the coast by boat, he certainly thought about the effect that navigation along the coast of Vieste produces. Indeed, the effects! Because there are so many emotions that you feel admiring the Gargano coast along the stretch between Vieste and Mattinata, with the high white cliffs in the background pierced by suggestive caves and surmounted by the green of pines, rock roses and brooms.
Vieste by boat with Francesco
And the EffettiGargano are always intense even on those who have already had the opportunity to do so by boat from the port of Vieste to Mattinata, passing through Pugnochiuso and the Baia delle Zagare.
What were the EffettiGargano on us? The joy: to be there on that sea that steals the intense glow from precious gems such as sapphires and emeralds. The wonder: that of looking up on the cliffs overlooking the sea and entering the caves that leave you speechless. And again the joy: to dive and swim like mermaids in this sea, feeling part of that myth that has always embraced this land suspended between nature and legend.
Our tour started from the port passing in front of the islet of Sant’Eufemia on which stands the Vieste lighthouse on which there is no shortage of ancient legends. The one that most attracted our attention tells that Noah, after the universal flood, decided to settle in this area together with his wife Vesta, and from there it seems the name of Vieste derives. And when she passed away, he buried her remains on the rock of the lighthouse which is also called Noah’s island.
Almost opposite one of the many trabucchi that dot the coast clings and then the long Castello beach opens up where the protagonist is Pizzomunno. The next stage opens onto one of the most popular views of the area: San Felice beach with the homonymous “Architiello”.
A pity that the tower that gives the bay its name has been transfigured by a recent restoration that has given it an inappropriate sloping roof. But if you want to take a photo from above of the architiello, which is said to have been carved out of the rocks by the Nymphs and Tritons in honor of the love between Neptune and his wife Amphitrite, the best spot is right at the foot of the coastal tower.
Between the Baia di San Felice and the Baia di Campi there is a rock that looks like the profile of a great old man: it is the “Testa del Gargano”, the furthest eastern point of the Spur of Italy. Almost unreachable from land, it is surrounded by the sea and at its end there is a rock that seems to keep it company.
We you reach the beautiful Baia di Campi, where the protagonists are the blue of the sea, the white of the steep limestone cliffs and the green of the Aleppo Pines of one of the most beautiful pine forests in the Gargano.
But there are many wonders that enchanted us in the 12 miles between Vieste and the Baia delle Zagare. That Francesco shows us and describes, also telling a little about himself and his family’s historical passion for the sea. He, in fact, is the nephew of Michele Trimigno, the one who discovered the caves of the Gargano, baptizing them with the most curious names based on the shape, colors or legends that are often handed down linked to the belief that these sea cavities were inhabited by sirens.
The first of those we entered with so much emotion and with eyes full of wonder – do you remember the EffettiGargano? – it is the Grotta Sfondata, with high walls and an open mouth on the sky adorned with Aleppo pines which, reflecting in the water below, give it an intense emerald color.
Here, as in all the other caves and among the coves accessible only from the sea, herring gulls and falcons now reign supreme, animating the postcard landscape with their flights.
Wherever he was able, Francesco approached the coast to make us admire the typical layered conformation of the rock on which the caper plants grow strong and spontaneous and here show off the wonderful flowers with a deep pink livery.
While the dinghy was spinning on the water that constantly changes nuance, turning from green to blue, we looked and admired the landscape between the coves such as Porto Greco, one of the most beautiful bays, and we listened in raptures to Francesco’s stories about grandfather Michele Trimigno awarded by the President of the Republic Giovanni Leone with the title of “Cavaliere del Lavoro”. After discovering the caves in 1954 a few years later he showed the beauty of the Gargano coast from the sea to the president of Eni Enrico Mattei who was struck by the splendid bay of Pugnochiuso where he then built the first large holiday center of the Gargano.
Meanwhile, the stretch of coast shows itself in all its resplendent beauty among the cliffs of white rock that alternate with coves of sand and gravel, bordered by Mediterranean scrub and crystal clear water.
This is how the Vignanotica beach appears, a long and thin strip of white gravel under a high cliff surrounded by vegetation. And then you can spot the two imposing cliff stacks, Diomede Arch and Finestrella of dreams guarding one of the most beautiful bays in Puglia. It is called Baia delle Zagare or Baia dei Mergoli and it is certainly more impressive to look at it from above because seen from the sea it loses much of its poetry due to the invasive presence of platforms and elevators in the hotel structure above.
What is there left to tell? The other super engaging EffettiGargano: visits to the Grotta Campana, so called for the shape of its dome that reaches 70 meters in height, to the Grotta dei Contrabbandieri with double exit that facilitated escape, to the Grotta smeralda where the light reflects on the walls creating suggestive color effects and the Grotta delle Due Stanze.
Cherry on the cake? Bathing in the company of a friendly seagull under a high, white cliff with beaches that can only be reached from the sea. The last emotion, for now, that EffettiGargano and Francesco gave us before returning at sunset when all Vieste is tinged with gold.
Do you want to feel joy and wonder too? Contact Francesco: his references can be found below.
Private tours of the coast
Info: Francesco private boat tours +39 345 7040530
Rubber dinghy rental +39 350 0381835