On a Karst formation promontory, situated in Gargano, is
where one will find the splendid City of Peschici, facing
a small and unforgettable bay.
Its foundation came about by the Slavoni who were sent in
970 by Emperor Ottone I to liberate Gargano from a Saracen
presence and who, from the 11th Century, were slowly conquering
Its name is associated with Slavic roots; “pèsc”
meaning sand, which refers to the ocean floor of the Bay of
It was also known as Pesclizo, a Slavic district which became
a feudatory of the County of Lesina under the Normans (1154)
and then a County of Monte Sant’Angelo. The Castle was
constructed during this period, then reconstructed in 1240.
Like all of Southern Italy, Peschici passed to the Swabians
(1194), and suffered attack by a Venetian fleet (1239) sent
by Pope Gregory IXth against Emperor Federick II. Peschici
and its walls were destroyed together with the City of Vieste,
then reconstructed under the wishes of Federick II.
With the advent of the Angioini (1267), Peschici participated
in military expeditions, among which the Siege of Almiss (1274)
along the Dalmatic Coast. Development of the commercial port
and naval shipyard guaranteed good economic development.
In 1401, Peschici became part of direct management of the
King of Naples, Ladislao I, last male heir of the Angioini
on the throne.
Under the Aragonese, it was managed by Giorgio Skanderberg,
administrator of the entire promontory of Gargano on behalf
of the royals.
After the Franco-Spanish War, and due to continual threats
of assault by the Turks, the town-wall building was reinforced
with the construction of more than twenty towers.
In 1570, Peschici became a feudatory of Don Ferrante of Sangro,
who was succeeded by Don Bernardino Turbolo (1571).
During the ‘600s, a long period of drought provoked
famine, decimating the population of Peschici.
In the ‘700s, the City became the property of Emanuele
Pinto, Prince of Ischitella.
The following century saw the birth of Renaissance and Republican
ideals which manifested in the Carbonare (An association which
promoted independent ideas) Revolts (1821) and those in 1848.
The City participated actively but were not united; if one
thinks that during the plebiscitary vote for annexation to
the Reign of Italy (1860), nearly half its inhabitants voted
for the Bourbons.
The end of the 19th Century and beginning of the 20th, were
characterised by great poverty which made many inhabitants
choose to leave for America in search of fortune.
Today Peschici is instead a vacation locality accommodating
thousands of tourists yearly who are attracted by the beauty
of its bay, fascinating and characteristic historical centre.
One can also enter Peschici through its bay by steep steps
which enter the village full of white houses, narrows walkways
with unexpected stairs, panoramic spots and characteristic
restaurants. The night atmosphere in summer involves visitors
along with its lively city life.
Main monuments in Peschici are: the Calena Abbey, which appeared
in documents since 1023 as a small church under the guide
of the very powerful Tremiti.
The defensive towers built during the 15th Century are scattered
over the territory.
On the other side of the Peschici, which still preserves the
ancient Castle, reconstructed during the 16th Century, one
can visit the Madonna of Loreto Sanctuary (16th Century, being
only 2 kilometres from the habitation.