Gargano_ From NYT’s “31 Places to go in 2010”…
“Far from the madding crowds of Amalfi and Cinque Terre, the Italian peninsula of Gargano sits on the Adriatic and boasts a checklist of summer-perfect Italian holiday options. The offerings are largely a part of the protected Gargano National Park, a swath of terrain encompassing everything from the oak and beech Foresta Umbra to the sheer chalk-colored cliffs and grottoes of the coast’s Caribbean-clear waters to the postcard-worthy whitewashed villages that hug the sea. Twelve nautical miles offshore, accessible by boat and hydrofoil, are the Tremiti Islands, specks of land surrounded by a wealth of sea life and a marine reserve of their own.
Looking for Romanesque churches and seaside fisherman’s restaurants? Try Peschici and Vieste, larger than fishing villages but cozier than cities, with white walls and medieval centers. How about mountain hiking? Check.
Gargano also offers the rarest of luxuries: fabulous food and lodging on the cheap — campsites offer space for mere pocket change, while hotel rooms can be had for 30 to 60 euros a night ($42 to $84 at $1.40 to the euro) in Peschici. If saving on food is wallet-friendly enough, pay a bit more than 100 euros and stay at the Chiusa delle More (www.lachiusadellemore.it), a 16th-century farmhouse in the national park but still only yards from the sea. Meals are locavore, Gargano style, incorporating the farm’s own vegetables and eggs.”