The Tremiti Islands is a small archipelago off the coast of Italy approximately 150 km south of Lanciano. These islands have a storied history. They contain a Stone Age burial site and a 10th C church fronted by an 11thC facade. Julia, the adulteress stepdaughter of Tiberius and granddaughter of Augustus died on the island of San Nicola and is entombed there. Through to the 18thC people have been exiled or imprisoned there. Benedictine monks arrived from Montecassino to build a church and monastery that stands today. Monks of various orders inhabited the islands for centuries. Today, the islands form part of the Gargano National Park and as such are a favoured destination for vacationing Italians and especially for SCUBA clubs.
Our early start on Saturday was brightened by a magnificent view of Mt. Majella.
On our arrival, we took the water taxi to San Nicola.
We spent the morning on the rough and rocky San Nicola. First inhabited in the 2nd millennium BC, and still inhabited today, San Nicola has been used by the Roman Emperor Augustus to house his exiled niece, Guilia. It was later fortified in the 7th C. It then was transformed into a monastery first for the Benedictine monks followed by the Cistercian monks. By the 18th C, it was used a penal colony until 1926. Since then, its prime focus has been tourism.
After walking through the remains of the fortifications we set off for a hike to the far end of the island.
After lunch, we crossed the 500 m. channel to San Domino. This island, unlike the other two, is covered in pine forests and boasts a picturesque coastline of crags, inlets and grottos. There are a number of hotels on this island catering to people who want a relaxing holiday with extraordinary views. We spent time on the beach and swimming in the warm water.
By the end of the day, we were all tired having enjoyed a splendid day in and around the water.