Little known by Brits but Italians love it in summer


One of the joys of living in Barletta (or indeed any part of northern Puglia) is its proximity to the gorgeous Gargano, on the spur of Italy’s boot.

This area is little known by us Brits but very popular with Italians who flock there in the summer months to enjoy its beautiful beaches, effulgent sun and pristine sea.

Perhaps it isn’t the best time of year to go now, though, unless you enjoy having icicles attached to your nether regions and whistling winds! However, within a couple of months, it’s great to go up there at weekends and enjoy a cappuccino by the sea.

This can be followed by a gradual shedding of clothes over the coming months, until you are doing it the Italian way and stripping off for the big bronze spettacolo.

At least I won’t be cantering along the beach at 45 degrees to a pony, which I did once on the Isle of Arran; felt like Queen Boudicea gone wrong. I digress.

I recall visiting Vieste one summer; there are no sombreros or donkeys at this seaside resort but it has other charms, such as scenic views; small white cliffs and turquoise seas.

Nor will you find Harry’s fish and chip shop along the prom or ‘Kiss Me Quick’ hats if you’re that sad; just good old-fashioned sea air and a ‘few’ sun loungers for the slothful amongst us.

However, Vieste is by no means the only picturesque place in the Gargano National Park; Peschici’s very pretty too, with white-washed houses above the sea.

Overall the Gargano has a lot to offer with an ancient forest, good beaches and lovely seafood fare.

It even boasts some grottoes which are a cave’s answer to eye candy.

Plus, of course, you can escape to those Tremiti islands, but only if you have a bit of time on your hands, and remember to book your return trip.

Failing that you could try yo-yo dangling from the cliff tops or fall asleep on the beach and wake up lobster.

I did that once, but that’s another story .