Italy's National Parks

Just the Facts
Location: East-central Italy
Nearest town: Manfridonia
Favorite activities:
Hiking, swimming, cycling, scuba diving, boating

The Gargano peninsula, which juts far out into the Adriatic on Italy's east coast, is a biological oddity, full of plant and insect species found nowhere else in Europe. It is also a geological oddity, more like the karst districts of Yugoslavia than the neighboring regions of Umbria and Apulia.

Once heavily forested, most of the peninsula is now a rocky grassland interspersed with salt marshes and groves of giant yew and holm oak trees, all linked by a good system of walking trails. Small towns along the coast offer plenty of hotels and restaurants in a spectacular setting, and camping is permitted throughout the park. The danger of wildfire is high in the summer, however, so keep your eyes open and your campfires well guarded.


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