VICO DEL GARGANO
In the Northern part of Puglia,
surrounding the National Park of Gargano, on the summit of
a small hill dominating land cultivated with olives and citrus
fruit, is where one will find Vico del Gargano.
Vico has ancient foundations, but little is known about its
history during the Roman and Byzantine eras. It definitely
suffered Saracen raids during the IX and X centuries. In 970,
the Slavic leader Sueripolo plundered Vico and in exchange
received a reward of ownership of the suburb.
During the first half of the XI Century, the Normans arrived,
being enlisted by the Longobards who were in eternal war with
the Byzantines. But in a short time, they changed from simple
mercenaries to feudatories of the Pope, and occupied the entire
region. They built the first Castle, which was later modified
by the Swabians and Federick II during 1240 and after by the
Angioini in the ‘300s.
In 1292, Teodisco de Cuneo had defensive walls erected with
20 lookout towers.
In 1495 it was given by Ferdinand II of Aragona to Galeazzo
Caracciolo for his commitment in expelling the Turks.
In 1539 it suffered canon attack by the Spanish.
During the XVII Century, the fief of Vico passed to the Spinelli
A visit to the Medieval suburb includes the districts of Terra,
Civita and Casale, guaranteeing certain emotions despite the
degradation derived from abandonment by its inhabitants beginning
in the ‘800s. Here one can visit the Matrix and San
Giuseppe Churches, the latter conserving a wooden statue of
the Dead Christ.
There are many other churches in Vico, among which we would
like to mention: the Carmine Church and the Santa Maria Church
just outside the walls.
The walls dating back to 1292 are still present and the Castle,
of Norman foundations, declares the transformation that occurred
in successive eras through numerous architectonic styles.
It seems that a church and earlier Pagan temple existed on
Mount Tabor: the aforementioned San Pietro appeared in a Papal
bull of Alessandro III during 1167.
Just outside Vico, one can visit the Cappuccini Convent (1576)
and the Santa Maria of the Angels Church, which conserves
precious works from the Neapolitan school.