A meeting of sky, sea, and land with the scent of citrus fruits: let’s explore the Gargano, its beauties, and its delicious and juicy fruits
A trip to the Gargano: dreamlike sea, unique nature, and exceptional villages
An enchanting land, a path where the green of the trees, the blue of the sky and the blue of the sea meet and embrace. Yes, the Gargano is an extraordinary setting that in itself makes you dream. But not everyone knows its most fragrant heart: the citrus groves.
Imagine vast green areas that allow you to go back in time, evoking ancient habits and passions thanks to fresh, pungent odours and colorful, juicy fruits, small, shining suns peeping out from among the superb foliage: you will get an idea of what is happening around the municipalities of Vico del Gargano, Ischitella and Rodi Garganico.
It is worth taking a scented journey through the citrus groves of the Sperone d’Italia because they are truly unique. To understand how unique they are, it is enough to think that they are the only citrus groves on the entire Adriatic coast. Their presence is historic and a symbol of resistance, resilience, and determination.
Yes, because citrus fruits were not born on this land, but have been imported since the year 1000. Ancient farmers decided to cultivate them in order to create natural islands in limestone soils that apparently seemed inhospitable. It was a success: citrus fruits were (and are!) so good that they became a precious commodity. Evidence of this can be found in literature and in commercial correspondence, which document the intensification of sales of oranges and lemons over the centuries.
The scope of the creation of citrus groves has been much wider, however: not only do they match the climate and terrain of the area, but they enhance its beauty by creating so-called gardens, rich and prolific oases that capture the senses and convey emotions.
The Gargano citrus groves have also become an integral part of the culture of the aforementioned municipalities of Vico del Gargano, Ischitella, and Rodi Garganico. Scores of skilled growers hand down secrets to give life to sweet and sour oranges and sweet, tasty, unique lemons.
These green areas produce unique citrus fruits, which fill the trees all year round, taking turns to ripen: blond oranges, melangolo oranges, durette oranges and the femminello lemon. The latter, by the way, is the oldest variety of lemon in Italy.
The advice is not only to visit the citrus groves, when possible but also and above all to taste the specialities made from the above-mentioned fruits: the experience will be so satisfying that you will be tempted to return.