Visit Rodi Garganico
Rodi Garganico is located between the towns of Ischitella and San Menaio on the north coast of the Garganico, in the Puglia department of south-east Italy below the mountains of the Gargano National Park..
Rodi Garganico is a small town with an interesting past and there is much to discover as well as its impressive coastal location.
Explore Rodi Garganico
Many visitors come to Rodi Garganico primarily because of its coastal location, with extensive sandy beaches that regurarly get awarded the Blue Flag award for cleanliness and facilities.
These beaches, each around four kilometres long, run along the coast both sides of the town, which itself stands on a raised promontory above a harbour.
While the beaches may be the big attraction don't overlook the town itself which has a great deal to explore...
Rodi Garganico town centre
Our trip to Rodi Garganico can start from the Church dedicated to the 'Shrine of Our Lady of the Libera’, in which a venerated image of Our Lady is held - the town inhabitants are devoted to the sea and constantly exposed to its dangers, and this devotion has been beautifully expressed by Filippo Fiorentino in "Coming from the Sea"*. The Church itself has three naves and is in the Baroque style, with the main altar in polychrome marble dating from the mid-19th century.
Coming from the Sea
This painting arrived in Rodi Garganico in 1453 on a Venetian ship from Constantinople. The painting depicts the “Madonna and child” playing with a dove (symbol of peace) held by a thread, while her right hand is raised in blessing. The painting, unsigned, appears to date from the mid-15th century and to have been painted by an artist of the Gothic-Venetian school: a school of painting that, in addition to the Renaissance techniques, incorporated the Gothic Medieval style.
After visiting the shrine, on passing through the picturesque streets of Rodi Garganico old town we encounter the first Franciscan convent, now the Church of St. Peter and Paul, which was formerly part of a convent built at the time of St. Francis of Assisi (1182-1226). History tells us that the church was built when St. Francis came on pilgrimage to the grotto of San Michele in Monte Sant'Angelo, between 1216 and 1221.
There is also a Belvedere which overlooks the city walls, with the Aragonese Castle in the corner tower of the "Spuntone". Of the watchtowers of Rodi Garganico the 'Spuntone' is the most recent, probably built in 1535 by Pietro di Toledo (1484-1553), viceroy of Naples, to defend the town from the Turks.
Descending from the castle and climbing the steep steps and narrow alleys of the charming seaside neighborhood of Vuccolo, probably of Lombard origin, we find the Church of the Crucifix, which is one of the most important historical monuments of the city.
This was the first parish Church of the city, then later closed due to damage by the earthquake that struck the area in 1679. Repeatedly re-built, the church has a nave with six altars and polychrome reliefs depicting the four Evangelists.
Covered with a barrel vault, in the center there is a fresco depicting the “Madonna del Carmine". The nave is enriched by two organs (a little to one side, and one from 1875 by Enrico Carcano constructed in Milan). Among the artistic works in the church are a wooden statue of the 'Dead Christ', from the late 17th century, restored in 1875 and 1927.
Cuisine and local traditions
As you explore the region you will see many citrus fruit trees, with lemons and oranges being an important local crop.
Finally, you should not leave Rodi Garganico without experiencing the local cuisine. Thanks to the local products and fisheries on which is the cuisine is based, the city is a meeting point for gourmets. There are plenty of local dishes to be discovered, such as the orange salad, salad with wild onions, the "Agostinelle" in oil and lemon, mussels au gratin, the "canolicchi" lemon , fish soup, snail soup, stuffed Troccoli and a good selection of local wines.
See also history of Rodi Garganico
Map of Rodi Garganico and places nearby
Rodi Garganico places to visit
See more places nearby in the Puglia guide