The Tremiti Islands are an archipelago in the Adriatic Sea, off the northern coast of Gargano in Puglia. The archipelago consists of the islands, San Domino, San Nicola, Capraia, Pianosa and some cliffs, the largest of which is the Cretaccio flanked by the rock called the Vecchia. From an administrative standpoint the archipelago is the town of Tremiti Islands, in the province of Foggia.
The islands are a Marine Nature Reserve and are part of the Gargano National Park. The Tremiti islands in antiquity were called Diomede islands, because according to legend, Diomedes, a character from Greek mythology, hijacked by a heavy storm landed on the islands calling Insulae Diomedeae. Diomede died in these islands, and it is said that his remains are in a tomb inside a Greek Roman necropolis on the island of St. Nicholas.
At Tremiti there are signs of human settlements dating from the Neolithic, then the islands knew the Greek civilization and Roman, although by the Romans the islands were mostly a place of confinement for more or less illustrious personalities of the time. In the ninth century, the Benedictine monks of Monte Cassino began construction on the island of St. Nicholas Abbey of Santa Maria a Mare, which are linked to the most significant historical events of these places.
In the eleventh century, the complex reached its peak, also had numerous possessions on land and richness that would make it independent from the Abbey of Montecassino. Even the monks through a series of alliances, they could protect themselves from attacks by Turkish pirates and Dalmatian, until the Benedictine Order was replaced by tensions with the Monastery of Cassino and the Holy See, with the Cistercian monks who expanded and they fortified the abbey with the help of Charles of Anjou, but a catastrophic attack by Dalmatian pirates put an end to their presence on the islands.
After a long period of neglect, during the Renaissance arrived Canons Regular of the Lateran who restored and brought back to its former glory the abbey-fortress.
In the eighteenth century, Ferdinand IV of Bourbon suppressed the abbey, which over time had lost power, and the island became a penal colony. The Bourbons in order to repopulate the islands and there they settle the Neapolitans from the slums of the city, and today the dialect spoken on the islands is passed down from them, rather than the dialect of the nearby town of Foggia. In the Fascist era the Tremiti were a place of exile for political opponents.
What to visit at the Tremiti Islands.
– San Domino Island is the largest of the Tremiti islands from the landscape point of view of pine trees that slopes from the rocky coast, dotted with beautiful coves, caves emerged and submerged, with the Hill that the Hermit, with its 116 meters altitude above sea level, is the highest point.
In San Domino the most interesting places to see are the Grotta del Bue Marino, the cave of Violets, the Cave of the Swallows, the cave of Moray, and Cale, Matano, the Arenas, the Pigno, the English, Tonda, l ‘ Architiello of San Domino, the Elephant rock, rocks the haystacks. The island of San Domino is the one that offers the greatest tourism between the islands.
– Isola San Nicola it may distinguish between the islands, for the rich history and its interesting monuments. You can visit the fascinating church of Santa Maria at sea, the Angevin Tower, the Loggia della Cisterna Meridiana and around the fortified complex. From the point of view of landscape features a rocky coastline with sheer drops to the sea. Among the places to see, the Grotto of Our Lady, the cave of Ferraio, the Cape of Death Cave, Punta del Camposanto and Sawn Rocks.
– Capraia Island is the second largest island of the Isole, uninhabited is mostly rocky and covered with a very sparse vegetation, its land sloping from north to south. Among the sights to be seen, Sorrento Cala, Cala dei Turchi, Cala of ragged, Cala Stone Rifle, Cala dei Turchi, Cala del Caffè, Cala Grande, Cala of Pisces, the cave of the Widows, the cave of Cato, the Grottone, the Architiello, the rock of the grouper, the rock of the Crow, the rocks Zizze and Punta Secca.
– Pianosa Island is the smallest of the archipelago, excluding the small island-rock of Cretaccio, a big rock uninhabited and lost in the Adriatic Sea, a reality in its own right for the isolation in which it is located, in the heart of the marine reserve . You can ‘visit the island only with permission of the managing body.
The island, consisting of a stony formed by drying and flaking of limestone blocks, due to a height that only in a few points reaches a maximum of 15 meters s.l.m., is often almost completely submerged by the waves of the sea. Its structure is characterized by rocky north coast, with enough continuous vertical walls, slopes down to lower totally going south. The flora and fauna, scarce on the surface, are highly developed in the surrounding seabed.