The Gargano peninsula sticks out into the Adriatic Sea like a spur on the boot of Italy. Numerous small beach towns line the coast, while the inland includes the Foresta Umbra, a remnant of the vast oak forests that once covered much of Central Europe. At the tip of the Gargano is Vieste, an ancient fishing village that is now a tourist destination. Italian tourists mostly; Americans and other Europeans seem not to have discovered it. I was there in July for the World Masters Orienteering Championships, along with 3,000 other participants 35 and older.
Vieste isn’t easy to get to. I took the train from Rome to Foggia, the provincial capital, and a bus from there. The mountains rise steeply from the sea, so the roads are slow and twisty. But the views are spectacular on both sides of the bus. This is the Baia di Mattinatella, and the town is Mattinata.