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Vico del Gargano and Valentine's Day

Just 10 minutes from Rhodes, Vico del Gargano rises like a nativity scene on the Gargano promontory, one of the Most Beautiful Villages in Italy, on of a hill between sea and forest. The name derives from the Latin "vicus", village. A city with very ancient origins, Vico del Gargano preserves archaeological evidence of inestimable value in its territory, such as the Necropolis of Monte Pucci, in the Calenella area, a popular destination for trekkers who people come to the Gargano from all over Italy and lovers of archeology and history.
In the early Middle Ages it suffered numerous incursions and lootings until it was reduced to the status of a village. It was the great emperor Frederick II of Swabia who favored its rebirth. Vico is in fact characterized by the labyrinth of medieval buildings, steps, close-by balconies and narrow streets that intertwine to form the historic centre, together with the surrounding walls with the 22 towers and the two towers with vaulted ceilings. ogive, last remains of the Frederician castle, as well as for the smell of the fireplace lit during the winter period, the local products, such as the caciocavallo podolico or the famous “paposcia vichese”.
The town is located near the famous Umbra Forest, equipped with picnic areas and nature itineraries that bring tourists into contact with the particular flora and fauna of the area. In particular, the Nature Reserve of the Gargano National Park boasts an artificial lake inhabited by carp and ducks and has play areas for the little ones, as well as fenced areas for fallow deer and podolian cows grazing.

Vico is also characterized by its splendid citrus groves, the prehistoric settlements of Mount Tabor, the gigantic holm oak (17 meters high and with a diameter of 5) under which Saint Francis rested during his visits to the Gargano, the energy and vitality that enriches the country with ever new events and demonstrations, as well as the strength of its legends and religious traditions.

When visiting Vico, a stop at the Vicolo and Piazzetta del Bacio is a must, surrounded by fascinating legends: here, as on Romeo and Juliet's balcony, lovers pause romantically , leaving letters and exchanging promises of love; it is no coincidence that Vico is called the town of lovers: in fact, since 1618, every year on February 14th, the culmination day of the festival, the vicars celebrate Valentine's Day , their Patron Saint and protector of farmers.

The gilded wooden statue of the saint is displayed and adorned with orange blossoms, oranges and lemons and carried in procession through the alleys and streets of the town;in honor of the Saint, all the religious brotherhoods parade (around a thousand elements), distinguished by characteristic clothes, an expression of the various dominations suffered over the centuries, including the Arab one. Furthermore, for the occasion the streets of the town are decorated with characteristic and unique compositions of oranges and laurel! Typical colours, smells and flavors envelop tourists these days; Worth mentioning is the Valentine's Day fair which often accompanies the event, gathering exhibitors from all over Italy with the most diverse and characteristic products, enriched by local craft stands, festivals, shows and events linked to the culinary tradition.
A a walk in Vico, even more so during the Valentine's Day period, gives visitors a unique atmosphere, as if going back decades, if not centuries, rediscovering the smells, flavours, sensations and values ​​of a never forgotten tradition were simple, ordinary magic. Seeing is believing…


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