2 Best Sights in Mattinata, Puglia, Basilicata, and Calabria

Foresta Umbra

In the middle of the Gargano Promontory is the majestic Foresta Umbra (Shady Forest), a dense growth of beech, maple, pine, and oak generally found in more northerly climates, thriving here because of the altitude, which reaches 3,200 feet above sea level. Between the trees in this national park are occasional dramatic vistas opening out over the Golfo di Manfredonia. There are nature trails and picnic areas easily reached from Vieste, Peschici, and Mattinata.

Santuario di San Michele

Pilgrims have flocked to the mountain community of Monte Sant'Angelo for nearly 1,500 years—among them St. Francis of Assisi and crusaders setting off for the Holy Land from the then-flourishing port of Manfredonia. Monte Sant'Angelo is centered on the Santuario di San Michele, built over the grotto where the archangel Michael is believed to have appeared before shepherds in the year 490. Walk down a long series of steps to get to the grotto itself; on its walls you can see the hand tracings left by pilgrims. The Sanctuary was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2011. To learn more about the history and myth surrounding the site visit the adjoining Musei TECUM.