Vieste is a town and comune in the province of Foggia, in the Apulia region of southeast Italy. A marine resort in Gargano, Vieste has received Blue Flags for the purity of its waters from the Foundation for Environmental Education. The area covered by the commune is included in the Gargano National Park.
In mediaeval times, the port was frequently attacked by pirates and Saracens, and by enemies of the Kingdom of Naples. In 1554 around 5.000 inhabitants were executed by the Turks, on the grounds that they were too elderly or infirm to merit transportation into slavery. This event is commemorated annually in a ceremony which has now degenerated into a kind of summer Hallowe'en.
The town is bordered by Mattinata, Monte Sant'Angelo, Peschici and Vico del Gargano. The coast is interesting from a geological point of view. Next to the town there are two large, straight, beaches. The rest of the coast is made up of gulfs and small, hidden sandy beaches. Erosion by water and wind has shaped the calcareous rock into grottoes and arches. Since the coast is steep, some of the finest sights can be reached only by sea.
Till a few decades ago, its main resources were fishing and agriculture. Now tourism, with hotels, resorts and camping facilities, has transformed the town's appearance, economy and lifestyle.
Vieste's most famous point is Pizzomunno, a vertical rocky monolith standing at 25 metres (82 ft) near the Spiaggia del Castello ("Castle Beach"). Other sights include:
- a castle, with a triangular shape and bastions at its vertexes;
- the cathedral in Apulian Romanesque style. It has a basilica plan with a nave and two aisles. Its bell tower was rebuilt in Baroque style in the 18th century after the previous one collapsed;
- Vieste Lighthouse, built in 1867.