Vieste is a lovely fishing town of whitewashed houses which hugs the white cliffs of the Gargano peninsula as they jut out into the Adriatic Sea. It is also home to one of the best beaches of Puglia.
Seen from the sea or further along the coast the views of Vieste are stunning. The pretty white-washed buildings hug the top of the equally white cliffs which drop dramatically into the clear blue waters of the Adriatic Sea.
Take a walk around the ancient defensive walls to enjoy stunning views both over the town and over the sea.
In the sea a number of large white rocks add to the drama of the vista and in particular you will see the huge Pizzomunno rock. It is 25m high and sticks up from the Castello beach of Vieste.
The beaches of Vieste have a lovely pale golden sand and all have lidos where you can hire sunbeds and umbrellas. It is also possible to hire canoes and pedalos or organise diving or sailing trips.
As well as its lovely beaches though the town of Vieste has an attractive old town with various historic sights. The town juts into the sea on two promontories and at the tip of the eastern promontory is the ancient monastery, the Chiesa di San Francesco and also a trabucco, an ancient fish trap, once used to catch mullet.
Not far from here is Vieste's cathedral which was built by the Normans. It is built in Romanesque style though its bell-tower was rebuilt later in Baroque style and has an unusual shaped roof.
Close to the cathedral is the place where 5000 locals were beheaded by the invading Turks in the 16th century. The spot is marked by the "Chianca Amara" or "Bitter Stone".
Vieste's castle occupies a dominant position by the sea and has an unusual triangular base. It was originally built by Frederick II though it was later rebuilt by the Spanish.
In the summer season nighttime is particularly nice in Vieste. The bars and restaurants all open and there is a great choice. Whilst walking around you will often come upon concerts set up in the little squares of the town and entertaining those who are eating 'al fresco' or simply taking an evening stroll.
Places to Visit Nearby
Along the coast in this part of Italy there are a number of lovely caves. Take a boat trip from Vieste and you can visit the Pomodori, Campana, Contrabbandieri, Marmi and Sogni grottos. It is also possible to do a nighttime trip of the grottos. These often finish with a simple meal.
About 9 km out of town is the ancient Necropolis of Viesta, an ancient Christian burial site. Tiers of tombs are cut into the rock wall of a cave or form shallow graves in the floor. The area is also a protected area for animals and birds looked after by the WWF.
Be sure to take a ferry to the lovely Tremiti Islands which are very beautiful with their dramatic white cliffs and forests. These too have a number of interesting caves that can be reached by boat.
You can find more local travel ideas in the Puglia guide.