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The Southern Adriatic.....

North Adriatic Southern Adriatic Liguria Ionian
Sardinia Southern Tyrrhenian Northern Tyrrhenian Other Small Islands

The peoples of these coasts, who have experienced both peaceful times and violent invasions aver the centuries, and who have built their identity on the infinite heritage of the neighbouring peoples, today offer tourists the richness and colour of an exciting civilisation, together with an extremely beautiful natural environment, a unique welcome and wonderful hospitality. Along the seashore, with its excellent tourist facilities, there are endless opportunities far an unforgettable holiday in modern up-to-date resorts.

The Adriatic is a melting pot of cultures and histories going back thousands of years, and it is an area where traditions and customs intermingle, with infinite echoes tram one stare to the other. This feeling can be appreciated in the more southern stretch, from Abruzzo to the Lucca headland in Apulia.

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Apulia Coast

The blue of the sea leads us to the magical villages in the province of Bari, starting with the perfect, refined beauty of Molfetta, and Polignano; the impressive buildings of this town seem almost to be trying to dominate the seas, while at the same time being full of charm with many delightful caves, both large and small. Then there"s Trani, facing the coast with its white stone houses and a superb cathedral. the industrious Monopoli (where, inland, the caves at Castellana and the unusual trulli dwellings at Alberobello and Locorotondo are a "must" far tourists), and also Bisceglie and Mola.

Abruzzo Coast

The administrative boundary between Le Marche and the Abruzzo regions runs along the eastern stretch of the Tronto river, and up to its mouth. The coastline in Abruzzo is just as varied: to the north, the shore is low-Iying and sandy, while to the south the coastline becomes jagged. The tourist seasons in the Teramo area, from Martinsicuro to Silvi Marina through Alba Adriatica, Giulianova, Roseto degli Abruzzi and Pineto, the beach at Pescara and the one at Francavilla al Mare have excellent facilities far holidaymakers and opportunities far fun and leisure with a very modern tourist harbour at Pescara. To the south, the scenery changes radically. From Ortona up to Vasto and San Salvo, unexpected coves set deep between bushes of broom and vines alternate with broad sandy beaches framed by thick Mediterranean vegetation. There are also the unusual trabocchi- - the strange, solitary pile- -dwellings stretching out into the sea between San Vita Chietino and Fossacesia, which are a left-over from ancient fishing customs. The Abruzzo coast is particularly suited to families looking far a quiet holiday, and is made even more attractive by the wide choice of hotels and holiday residences available. There are lots of possibilities far those seeking a holiday packed with sports, too: water-sports are paramount here, with sailing, windsurfing, canoeing and fishing.

Salento Coast

And now we go to the area around Brindisi - a land that is rich in nature, art and history, with a coastline of remarkable beauty, a holiday-oriented lifestyle far those who want to while away the time on the beach or who fancy roaming around unexplored paths in search of caves, castles, cathedrals, rocky settlements, trulli and ancient farmsteads. In places like Torre Canne or Marina di Ostuni, tourists will also find the warmth of authentic hospitality, the comfort of various types of modern accommodation and the pleasure of being able to indulge in their favourite leisure pursuits. We enter the Lecce province and that most unusual area which is the Salento Peninsula, stretched out between the two seas (the Adriatic and the Ionian) that have shaped its morphology and its history. Our journey takes us through all kinds of places along the low, sandy coast, from Torre Rinalda, Torre Chianca and Frigole, to San Cataldo (just 12 kilometres from the splendid town of Lecce), as far as the resorts of San Foca, Roca Vecchia, Torre dell"Orso and Sant"Andrea, and then to Otranto. This is one of the most exciting seaside resorts in the whole of southern Italy, because of its prodigious history and its architectural jewels of civic, military and religious architecture, condensed into an atmosphere in which the scent of the East is already apparent.Passing through Santa Cesarea Terme, famous far its healing waters, and going along the coast, dotted with caves (some of which are of great archaeological value), we come to the furthest point at Leuca. Here, the Adriatic disappears into the lonian and merges into the horizon, the sea goes back to being history, and the holidays fade away into ancient myth.

Molise Coast

We move southwards again, to the Molise region with its 30 kilometres of very fine sand. The large Rio Vivo beach on the southern shore at Termoli, the lidos at Sant"Antonio. The tranquil seaside at Petacciato and the lively beach at Campomarino Lido are what the Molise area offers far a summer of sun and sea.

Gargano Coast

A little further on, the land of Apulia starts with the Gargano -a large, unique Carsic promontory extending for around 2000 square kilometres from sea level to 1055 m. up on the Calvo mountain, whose unadorned peak towers aver the Aleppo pines on the coast and aver the beech trees of the Foresta Umbra. The "spur" in the "boot" of Italy reaching out far around 70 kilometres into the Adriatic was once an island and its imposing mass has environmental features that are very different from the flat ground beside it. The Gargano coast still has caves, rocks and occasional deserted coves of unspoilt beauty. There are countless beaches: Lesina and Varano, facing onto the salt water lakes with the same names, separated from the sea by a thin sand-dune; Rodi Garganico and the little medieval village of Peschici; Vieste and Pugnochiuso, the best known tourist centres; and Mattinata and Manfredonia. Lush greenery here forms a backdrop to beautiful places inland and the area is permeated with an atmosphere of spiritual and religious significance. Everyone will have heard of San Giovanni Rotondo, the home-town by adoption of Father Pio of Pietrelcina, the Capuchin friar canonised and venerated the whole world aver, and Monte Sant"Angelo, a Norman village which is the site of a very unusual cave-sanctuary where pilgrims carne in the Middle Ages on their way to the Holy Land.



Southern Adriatic Map

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