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Rodi Garganico, the Garden of Gargano

Rodi Garganico is a charming seaside resort, a hidden jewel in the splendid Gargano region, located on the Adriatic coast of Puglia.

Rodi Garganico is an ancient town of fishermen, farmers and traders, perched on a promontory overlooking the sea; first town in the northern Gargano, very easy to reach via the A14 motorway, Rodi is nestled between the mountains and the sea, it is one of the most beautiful towns in the Gargano and is characterized not only by the vast and uncontaminated citrus gardens for which it is nicknamed "the Garden of the Gargano" also for a well-maintained ancient neighborhood, with narrow alleys and terraces overlooking the sea, for the modern tourist port, from which the ferry leaves for the Tremiti Islands in summer, for the long beaches of golden sand. We have dedicated an entire section to our beloved country in which the history and traditions, places to visit, local events of our romantic village are described.

Rodi Garganico; history and places to visit

The town has approximately 3,000 inhabitants in the winter and around 30,000 during the summer season, making it, despite everything, less crowded and chaotic than the other tourist resorts of the Gargano.
Rodi Garganico is famous throughout the area for its production of citrus fruits, so much so that it has been nicknamed the Garden of Gargano: these fruits, in addition to their scent and excellent flavour, combine to create a unique panorama together with the crystalline sea and the sandy coast, the silvery olive trees, the fragrant white orange blossoms, the green pines with the scent of resin and the characteristic overhangs of the entire Gargano coast.
Rodi has very remote origins, dating back to around 1200 BC. The country was first a Cretan colony, then a Greek and Rhodian one. After various vicissitudes in the late Roman era, it was sacked by the Venetians to punish it for its loyalty to Frederick II and in the 15th century Ferdinand of Aragon decided to settle there.
The medieval walls of the village still surround the historic centre, a of the most intact and best preserved in the Gargano.
In this context, the numerous carved stone portals scattered throughout the ancient centre, the characteristic chimneys on the roofs, the Vùcc'l district (whose name derives from ' vucculare' which means the shouting of women to call their husbands intent on working on the nets), with its steep streets and stairways leading to the sea, and the village identified as Sott u' casted (under the castle), which preserves the remains of the fortifications of the old castle; from this very long terrace overlooking the Murge (as the particular stacks that rise from the sea are called, one of these in the shape of a crouching dog), you can admire the enchanting spectacle of the sun in its rising and dying in the sea and the Tremiti Islands, when there is no haze. On the arch that connects the castle to Piazza Rovelli - known as the Sunset Arch - there is the characteristic inscription from 1600 which mentions Girolamo Onero Cavaniglia, an important feudal lord of Rhodes.

All these areas are easily accessible thanks to the position central location of the hotel in Rodi Garganico Villa Americana, in the heart of the town.

Another suggestive corner is represented by Piazza Belvedere, overlooked by some rooms of the hotel itself, in the center of which stands the large pine tree of Rhodes (for this reason called Sott u ped a' zappin, i.e. "under the pine") and which owes its name to the magnificent view that ranges from the whitewashed Capuchin Convent, among the green olive groves, to the tourist port of the town, with its fragrant orange groves to the golden beach and the Gargano coast which extends to Peschici. Certainly worthy of note are the Church of San Pietro with statues from the 1500s, the Byzantine bell tower of the church of San Nicola di Mira and the Sanctuary of the Madonna della Libera, from the Romanesque period.

Infine, Rodi Garganico è infatti dotata di una lunga distesa di spiaggia sabbiosa, che si divide per versante, da qui i nomi delle due “spiagge” di Levante e di Ponente.
Entrambe le spiagge sono costituite da sabbia finissima, e, insieme al fondale del mare che degrada lentamente, le rendono ideali e sicure per i bambini e i loro genitori.
La spiaggia di Levante si estende dal Porto turistico fino a San Menaio, frazione balneare di Vico del Gargano sita a circa 5 Km a est da Rodi Garganico.
è su questo versante che sorge il nostro Lido Malibù, dotato di ombrelloni, sdraio, bar, attrezzature sportive e di un apprezzatissimo ristorante sul mare.
Soggiornando all’Hotel Rodi Garganico “Villa Americana” potrete raggiungere la spiaggia grazie al servizio navetta messo a disposizione dei nostri ospiti.
La spiaggia di Ponente, invece, si estende lungo il versante Ovest e, partendo dalla località nota come “Sotto la Costa”, arriva fino a Lido del Sole, frazione turistica di Rodi Garganico.

The patronal festivals, between legend and tradition

The cult of the Madonna della Libera, deeply felt in Rodi Garganico, dates back to an ancient legend.
It is said that the icon of the Madonna arrived from Byzantium on 2 July 1453, transported on an adventurous Venetian ship. The vessel, having arrived near Rhodes, stopped for obscure reasons. The captain then went ashore to get clarifications and saw the effigy of the Celestial Mother placed on a stone. Thinking he had been robbed, he took her back on board, but the next day the same scene was repeated: the ship was unable to leave and the effigy of the Madonna was in the same place as the day before. Mary's message that she wanted to remain in Rhodes was clear to everyone, and finally the captain gave the miraculous effigy to the population, who elected her as their Protector, and then left again.
A Sanctuary was dedicated to this Madonna, where, again today, behind the central altar, the Sacred Stone on which the painting rested centuries ago is preserved.
In the first three days of July the Patronal Festival dedicated to Maria S.S. is held. della Libera and San Cristoforo: the sacred effigy of the Madonna and the imposing statue of the Saint are accompanied in a long procession, in which the whole town participates, along the streets of the historic centre. In these days Rodi Garganico has a new face: a majestic illumination decorates the entire town and, during the procession, the Rhodians display their most beautiful and colorful blankets on the balconies in homage to the Madonna, throwing rose petals and flowers to the passage of the Celestial Mother; in the evening, however, the party ends with an incredible display of fireworks over the sea. The second most important event of the summer takes place on August 20th: the Patronal Festival of San Rocco is celebrated with the same emphasis and the same traditions.

Annual events and festivals in Rodi Garganico

In Rodi Garganico tradition and fun come out into the open throughout the summer period. Throughout July and August the evenings of tourists and the population are entertained and accompanied with musical shows, film festivals, theatrical events, pictorial exhibitions, concerts and festivals (think of the Orange Festival, the Sea Festival, or the Poor People's Dishes Festival), with the task of making people discover the flavors of Rhodes and its culture. The program of summer events often ends with the Band Festival, in which the most renowned bands of Puglia participate and with a series of exciting concerts organized by the lively Umberto Giordano Conservatory of Rodi.
Tradition dictates that the population gather in square to share moments of fun and joy even when summer is far away, in particular moments of the rest of the year. A clear example is the Rodian Carnival, which regularly returns in February or March. Allegorical floats, colorful clothes and sparkling masks, the result of the creativity of real local artists, make you rediscover the magical atmosphere of Rhodes even in winter, in a moment of sharing, great energy and joy.
The Orange Festival is usually held in May and opens the doors to summer by celebrating its favorite fruits and the thousand ways of using them in delicious local recipes, not just desserts...

For these and other reasons , Rhodes is beautiful to visit at all times of the year, and the Rodi Garganico Villa Americana hotel, thanks to its privileged central position, makes it ideal for getting to know the town comfortably.

Citrus fruits and local products from the Gargano

In every street demonstration, citrus fruits always play an important role. In fact, in the early twentieth century, Rodi Garganico was one of the main centers of citrus fruit production and export, thanks to its geographical position, the mild winds that lap the coast, the altitude and the fertility of the soil. The favorable geographical position was, for this paradise of citrus cultivation, an important incentive for the marketing of the "golden apples" (in Portajall dialect because they came from Portugal): from Rodi Garganico with a few days' travel you could reach important commercial docks including those from Dalmatia and Trieste. The thriving citrus trade was managed by influential families who, alone or in a consortium, organized the various phases of the work: production, packaging, marketing and export. To date, Gargano citrus fruits have received recognition such as PGI and have become a Slow Food presidium. Citrus fruits are just one of the many typical products for which the goodness of the local cuisine is so renowned. The traditional Rhodian cuisine is mainly based on fish-based dishes because, in addition to the large production of oranges and lemons, the town is an ancient fishing village. Among the typical dishes of Rodi Garganico we must mention the lampascioni salad, the agostinelle marinated with oil and lemon, the orange salad, the razor clams with lemon, the Rodiana fish soup, the troccoli with stuffed cuttlefish, the cockles in broth, panzanella garganica, "u' vongl", mussels au gratin etc..., dishes that you can also enjoy at the restaurant of the hotel Rodi Garganico Villa Americana.
The Marina di Rodi Garganico

The face of Rodi Garganico improves from year to year, with conservation work on the historical heritage and important renovations.
At the same time, on the coast, a trebuchet and another imposing work were finally built, after a century of unfulfilled expectations. For those who love the sea, the sun and boats, Rodi Garganico inaugurated its new tourist port, the Marina di Rodi, in July 2009, a project for which the population is extremely proud given the incredible quality of the result. Very convenient for reaching nearby Greece, Croatia and the Tremiti archipelago, the Marina immediately became the second hub of the country. The Marina is able to accommodate 316 berths and has numerous naval and commercial services, such as Il Marina di Rodi: yachts. restaurants, bars, shops, parking spaces and green spaces, to allow yachtsmen, holidaymakers and locals to spend relaxing and entertaining evenings, evocatively surrounded by the sea on three sides, by the various yachts and by the lights of Rhodes which are reflected in the sea just a few meters.


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