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The Tremiti Islands - Apulia

The Tremiti Islands (the green San Domino, the rough San Nicola and the wild Caprara) lie 22 miles from the Gargano promontory (province of Foggia) and are also known as the pearls of the Apulian Adriatic Sea. The other three isles located further out (Pianosa, Pelagosa Grande and Pelagosa Piccola) and a small group of 16 minor crags are part of the same group of islands. Most of them are protected by a marine park which includes three areas: the first area includes Pianosa; the second area includes Caprara and the coast of San Domino, from the Faro di Punta Diavolo to Punta Secca; and the third area includes the waters up to 70 meters from the coast (no professional fishing is allowed).

   

The Tremiti Islands - old mapDue to their calcareous nature, the group of islands was probably formed after breaking away from a strip of land. It was probably due to telluric movements that occurred during the formation of the islands that Tacitus named them "Tremerum" (subject to tremors). This is the probable origin of their current name, although they are no longer subject to tremors. These islands are the ideal destination for sea-lovers who willingly do without the noise of typical "fun-filled" holidays. No need to have a car, as San Domino (the largest of the islands) can be crossed on foot in 20 minutes.
 

Caprara

Caprara island - view from San Nicola

Besides being the smallest (0.15 sq.miles) and the only uninhabited Tremiti Island, Caprara is also the furthest from the Italian coast. Once it was called "Capperaia" due to the abundance of caper plants that still grow there. This flat-looking island has only one uneven point: the 53-metre-high Monte Grosso. Once Caprara was fertile and green (its lands were once cultivated by monks who lived there), but today it is covered by a scarce vegetation mainly consisting of lentiscus. It is connected to the main Tremiti Island by a local boat service. Its only buildings are the Casa dei Coatti (first used as an isolation site for prisoners and later as a farm) and the Faro della Marina (lighthouse).

 
San Domino
San Domino beach and San Nicola island

This is the biggest of the Tremiti Islands although it has a surface of only 0.81 sq.miles. It is also the best organised from the touristic point of view, It is the only island where there is a wide selection of accommodation alternatives. San Domino has many grottos and is covered by a vegetation emitting a scent of pines and orange blossom that is worth the name given to San Domino: "the green pearl of the Adriatic Sea". Plants in full bloom are a very common and characteristic peculiarity of the pine-wood situated in the south-western part of the island where you can see myrtles, geraniums and Indian figs. San Domino is also the kingdom of cicadas and birds such as the Diomedeas which produce a peculiar moan at night. The legend says that the Diomedeas are the soldiers of Homer's hero Diomede who were transformed into birds by Venus and forced to watch over the islands that had been chosen as the home of the warrior. In addition to its nature, the island also has an ancient history (as the numerous remains found confirm). San Domino has been inhabited since the 2nd millennium B.C. and was subsequently visited by the Greeks and Romans. In the year 1000 it was chosen as a hermitage by the Benedictine monks who later left the island and settled in San Nicola. All the hotels of the Tremiti Islands are on San Domino. The connections with the main-land are excellent: those with a limited time can use the all-year-round helicopter service from Foggia.

 
San Nicola
San Nicola island - Fortifications

This rough and rocky island has the charm of real islands and a rich history. San Nicola lies 25 miles north of Rodi Garganico and has a surface of 0.16 sq.miles and a coastline of 3.5 miles. It is separated from San Domino by a 500-meter-wide channel. This is the only one of the Tremiti Islands with a village inhabited all-year-round and is therefore the administrative centre of the group of islands: town-hall, post-office and first-aid station are here. The island reaches its highest point (75 m) right in the centre. San Nicola was first inhabited in the 2nd millennium B.C. and was used in the Roman age by Emperor Augustus when he sent his niece Giulia into enforced residence. The island was fortified in the VII century by Charles of the Anjevin and subsequently inhabited first by the Benedictines (who turned one of the fortresses into a monastery) and then by the Cistercian monks. Ferdinand IV of Bourbon turned it into a penal colony at the end of the XVIII century. Its past can be read in the remains of the castle, of the abbey and of the fortified citadel dominated by the Torre dei Cavaliere. San Nicola is famous both for its very clear waters and for the rich marine-fauna. Plenty of some of the most common Italian fish-species live in these waters: white bream, dentex, sea bass and grouper.

Food & Wine
The Apulia cuisine is varied, authentic and rich with its influences from Greek, Spanish and neighbouring traditions. Durham wheat, tomatoes, olive oil, wine, meat and seafood are the basis for nearly all of the region’s authentic dishes. Several of Italy’s most well-known culinary traditions have originated in Apulia including
Ciambotto, a mixed fish sauce served over pasta; Zampina, a mix of meat sausage; Seafood Risotto and Ciceri e Tria, strips of fried pasta with chickpeas. Don't miss the locally cooked lobster, the bitterish small onions called lampasciuni and the troccoli. The best selection of sweets includes the delicious zeppole, made with almonds, and the pan drion.

For more information:
APT Foggia - Local Tourist Board
Azienda di Promozione Turistica di Foggia
Via E. Perrone, 17 - 71100 Foggia ITALY

www.pugliaturismo.com/aptfoggia

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