Vico del Gargano is a town situated in the North-Eastern area of promontory of the Gargano at the centre of the National Park with lands that extend to cover a large part of the Umbrian Forest.
Located at 455 metres above sea level, the area presents a vary territory that from the highlands of the Umbrian Forest tumble down to the fine-grained sandy beach of the sea district of San Menaio. The geologic nature is of carsica grounds and there are a series of interesting caves and grottos, even undersea.
The economy is agricultural and touristic; famous are the citrus fruits of Vico such as the DOP labeled and protected products "Blond orange of the Gargano" and "Femminiello (Womanly) Lemon of the Gargano". Not less important is the production of olive oil.
The touristic development is not equal to the one of the other local realities such as Peschici and Vieste but, actually its potential is the fact that this specific area has not been overcome by building speculations and can still offer economic advantages in house dealing. For example: in the old city there are three small districts: Civita, Casale and Terra, built in the Middle Ages but abandoned in Mid '800, that still preserve the charm of those Ages and could be gradually recuperated to propose once again their original splendor.
The town was built by the Dalmatian slave Leader "Sueripolo", who was invited with his army by the Emperor Ottone to fight against the Saracens. The Army based between Vico and Peschici. Once the task was accomplished he gathered the local inhabitants, that used to live isolated in hamlets and built the first town center. Vicus, a word from Latin, means settlement or village.
When the Normans conquered the Gargano area, they built a castle in Vico, which was enlarged by Federico II. In 1292 Teodisco de Cuneo had a fortified wall built around the town, of which there are still visible traces in the outside walls of most buildings. During the Spanish dominion, the Kings of Naples assigned Vico, in the meanwhile become a feudal stronghold, to important Neapolitan Families such as the Caracciolo and the Spinelli.
Not to miss: the churches of the old town and Palazzo della Bella. This building is unique as it is an early '900 New Gothic presentation of Palazzo Vecchio in Florence.