Ischitella, Italy: visit the village and countryside around Ishcitella in Gargano

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Visit Ischitella

The village of Ischitella is situated on a hill dominated by olive trees and Mediterranean bushes about 300 meters above sea level where it forms part of the Gargano National Park.

The ancient village is also called "Earth", and separate from the newer part, called the "Bridge". The 'Earth' is characterized by houses with balconies overlooking the winding narrow streets leading to the main monuments of the city.

Explore Ischitella

On top of a high hill in the old town of Ischitella is the Palace of the Pinto (now called Ventrella) which is an imposing three-storey building with an impressive portal on the main façade. It was commissioned in the 18th century by Francis Emmanuel Pinto (1697-1767), who built it on the ruins of an ancient Swabian castle.

The castle or "castrum" was built in the Middle Ages by Emperor Frederick II of Swabia. The castle collapsed following the earthquake of 1640, after which the ancient fortress became the residence of the Pinto Princes.

St Eustache church, IschitellaNear the palace you can see the Church of St. Eustace, the patron saint of the town, with a façade composed of mouldings and friezes in stone. This church has a single nave and in the two lateral niches you can see statues of the Patron Saint and San Pasquale. There are remarkable paintings on the altars by Gennaro Abbate, an 18th century painter from Naples.

In the 18th century the Princes of Ischitella decorated several local churches with works by this Neapolitan school of art. Examples can be seen in the Church of San Eustachio, the Church of St. Francis and the Church of Purgatory. The presence of so many works by the Neapolitan school in Ischitella suggests that they were "local artists who were trained in Naples and then returned to work in their land of origin.

Other notable religious monuments in Ischitella are the Church of Santa Maria Maggiore (17th century) with three naves, adorned with wooden statues of various saints, and with works of the Neapolitan school, and the Church and Convent of St. Francis (15th century) with three naves, and large windows in Gothic style.

Just outside the historic city you can visit the Abbey of San Pietro in Cuppis, which is of Romanesque style and built in the first half of the 11th century.

Natural environment

Ischitella streetAs well as the old town of Ischitella with its narrow alleys overhung by balconies it is a resort and destination that is visited  for its natural beauty.

It is located on the northern side of Gargano on a hill covered with olive trees and thick Mediterranean vegetation, in an area rich in springs and below which the “Romandato” stream flows.

From the village there is a view that stretches from the hills surrounding the Adriatic Sea to the Tremiti islands and Lake Varano, with its isthmus and the popular beaches of “Isola Varano” and “Foce Varano”, Ischitella's beach.

Regional speciality products are primarily olive oil and citrus, while the most traditional dishes to try in the local restaurants include "Orecchiette” with turnip greens and "Troccoli" (the typical Puglia “spaghetti”, also called “spaghetti guitar”).

See also history of Ischitella

See also:

Map of Ischitella and places to visit

Places to visit near Ischitella

Rodi Garganico

Rodi Garganico

Visit Rodi Garganico whose pretty white houses rise up from its large sandy beach.

Rodi Garganico

Peschici

Peschici

Visit Peschici which is one of the prettiest resorts on the Gargano Peninsula.

Peschici

Cagnano Varano

Cagnano Varano

Cagnano Varano is a pretty hilltop village close to Lake Varano.

Cagnano Varano

Carpino

Carpino

Carpino is a pretty village with fine views.

Carpino

Vieste

Vieste

Vieste is a beautiful fishing village set dramatically on top of a rocky promontory. It has some great beaches.

Vieste

Monte Sant'Angelo

Monte Sant'Angelo

The Sanctuary of Monte Sant'Angelo along with its sacred cave is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Monte Sant'Angelo

See more places nearby in the Puglia guide