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Tremiti Islands

12 miles north of Rodi Garganico lies the Tremiti islands, the islands comprize San Nicola, San Domino, Capraia or Capperaia and the smaller islands of Cretaccio and Pianosa. Legend says that Diomede landed on these islands after a long and tortuous journey whilst returning from the Trojan war.

scorcio della costaThe largest island is San Domino, named after a colony of Croati which inhabited the islands in the Vl century AD. The island is also known as the "Orto del Paradiso" or Paradise garden. The island has a thick covering of pine as well as a rocky coastline, overhanging rocks and caves where crystal clear water assumes magnificent colouring and provides a beautiful ambiance. The discovery of fragments of pottery and crude weapons indicates inhabitation by Neolithic man.

Capri is uninhabited and is thickly covered by lentisk and caper. The coastline is rich in natural bridges and rocky arches called "archetielli". Pianosa is 12 miles to the north east and is also uninhabited apart from the occasional angler. San Nicola covers 41 hectares and is the historic centre of administration and religion.

ArchitielloOn the highest part of the island emerges the monastery and fortress of Santa Maria a Mare. The monastery has been likened to a Montecassino in the middle of the sea. In this Benedictine monastery of the IX century lived three religious orders, the Cassinesi, the Cistercensi and the Lateranensi.
Inside can be found the precious works: the "Cristo Grande", a 3.44 m cross on which is depicted the Crucifixion of Christ, belongings from the Pisano Lucchese School, a statue of the Virgin Mary and Jesus, the "Polittico Ligneo" and the mosaic pavement.
The Tremiti islands used to be a prison from the time of Romans; eminent men unpopular with Senate and emperors spent many years full of torment and solitude here. On the "piano Asinario", by the Greek-Roman sepulcher lies the tomb of tholos of Diomede and Giulia, August's' niece, here banished.

scorcio della costaFrom 1989 the coast up to a depth of 70 m belongs to the sea park, established to protect the heritage, the environmental beauties of sea and mainland, endemic species such as the "Centaurea Diomedea".
Along its coast it is possible to dive for fish, visit the splendid grotto of Sale, the suggestive grotto of Viole and the grotto of Bue Marino where the Foca Monaca can be found.

These islands, where history mixes with legends, provides a place where reality mixes with dreams.

 

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