Gargano HOME

22nd April to 1st My 2013. A selection of photos covering a "Green Tours"  tour to the Gargano Peninsula of Puglia Italy.

Helen's fuller account is at:

Tour led by Paul Cardy:

 I aim to give an impression of the holiday and the country, I shall  try and get the plant names right in the end! Corrections are welcome!  

Click to enlarge a photo then Ctrl+ for more; "back" to return.  I have suggested what I think some Orchids faces looks like "Thus"?

MONDAY  22nd April We caught the 03:21 train from St Albans walking through dark streets with no street lights due to "cost saving" We arrived at Gatwick at 04:55 and checked in, the 2hrs recommended, taking off at 07:30. We landed at 11:20 local and Paul eventually found us in Arrivals, traffic had delayed him. We had a snack at a service station on the Autostrada and arrived at Rodi by late afternoon.

Our minibus in the Service Area under the shade of solar panels; Richard at the rear Irene at the front seat

A road tunnel on our way to Rodi Garganico

Map of the Gargano

The Promenade looking towards Rodi Garganico from our Hotel


The Tram that ran along the promenade in front of the Hotel

An aroid in Hotel Car Park, Zantedescia aethiopica 

Hotel Residence Tramonto at Rodi Garganico

Peony, Paeonia peregrina

Muscari, Grape Hyacinth

Orchid Orchis Italica "Little Men"


Typical habitat

A very large Pill Bug

A green Lizard

Green Lizard

Richard among the Asphodels

White Aspodels, Asphodelus microcarpus

Purple Vebascum

Spanish Broom, Spartium junceum

Fishing just offshore from our Hotel

Flotsam looking like an elk's head

 Orchis papilionacea, Butterfly Orchids

 Tordylium apulum

TUESDAY 23rd Day1      
 We drove along the North Coast of the Gargano stopping at several locations looking for Orchids etc. The holiday makers had not started to arrive.

In the morning we went to the Peschici area and to the west of Vieste in the afternoon

Map of the Day

The  Hotel Residence Tramonto was rather cold but a blanket on the beds helped.  In the mornings, however, the water was always cold. The warning ringing of the approach of the tram to the level crossing at 06:00 provided an alarm for us to get up and walk around photographing. The hotel waiter was cheerful although he could not explain the menus, neither could Paul

   Orchid "Smart bow tie"?



Lady Orchid Orchis Purpurea

Grass Hopper on onion

Medicago marina

Painted Lady



Sea Holly

The gang on the beach

Ophrys holosericea apulica, endemic to Puglia. "A fly close up"?

Yellow Orchid Orchis Lutea

Bumblebee Orchid

Orchis papilionacea, Butterfly Orchids

Ophrys biscutella "Torn bib"?

Medicago marina

Ophrys apulica "Strong man"?

A scarlet bug on Paul's finger

Peony, Paeonia peregrina, there were very few of these around.

Looking over the plain

Wall brown

Anagallis arvensis caerulea, Blue Pimpernel




Cistus monspeliensis

A headland by the sea

Anthyllis tetraphylla

Gargano is an outcrop of limestone or Karsts which breaks into small rough boulders that can be built into dry stone walls and huts. It encourages the local flora, especially orchids. Olive trees can grow in the stony fields but little else.   

Orchid "Rats"?

Lotus cytisoides


Walter scouting ahead

Do sheep have sharp canine teeth?

A Millipede

Orchid, Ophrys biscutella "Waistcoats"?

Cistus creticus

Anthyllis vulneraria praepropera

Orchis Lutea "Sunglasses"

Borago officianalis


Silyburn Marianum

Marbled White


Man Orchid,  Aceras anthropophorum

Cistus monspeliensis

Centipede and Millepede found under a stone

A White Pea

Plantains with "Planets"

A  green Bug

Towards the Sea

Anacamptis pyramidalis

Fishing Poles on a promontory. The water is quite deep here and the tidal range small.

Scolio flavifrons which parasites on the Rhinoceros beetle

Watch Tower by the coast. The Limestone hardens after time in the air.

Campanula garganica on the tower wall

Henbane, Hyoscyarmus alba


Green Beetle

 Tordylium apulum


Convolvulus Elegantissimus and Trifolium stellatum

Olive Grove with ruined arch

Marbled White on Crepis rubra

Wall Brown

Paul outside derelict farmhouse, of which there are many

Mallus Sylvestris

Lady Orchid Orchis purpurea

Lady Orchid Orchis purpurea

Flower Carpet

A detail, Crepis Rubra

Love in the mist, Nigella damascena alba

Little Heath


Rare Swallowtail

 Onion, allium roseum

Cerinthe major

"The Scream" in the bark of a tree.

 Anacamptis pyramidalis

Orchid, Ophrys incubacea "Teddy bear with mustache"?

Crab Spider on  Anacamptis pyramidalis


Green Fly

Convolvulus elegentissimus

Hypochoeris achyrophorus

Star of Jerusalem




Galactites tomentosa

Anthyllis tetraphylla

Grizzled Skipper


Orchid, Ophrys spegodes or incubacea. "French Lawyer"?



Orchid "Have a hug"

Adonis Blue?

Aroid in the hotel car park

WEDNESDAY 24th  April Day 2       
In the morning we visited various sites including Passo di Ingarano and Bosco di Spina, a wooded area.

Map with Geo-tags for this day

Yellow legged Gull, paddling

A Villa behind the hotel

Flotsam on the beach


A Villa behind the Hotel


Crepis rubra


Giant Fennel, Ferula communis


Scorzonera hirsuta

Verbascum phoeniceum

Orchid Orchis Italica


Smirnium olustrum



Green Hair Streak

Hillside habitat

A Field of Butterfly Orchids

Verbascum phoeniceum

Orchis papilionacea 

Orchid "A duck"?

Trifolium stellata

Butterfly Orchid

Orchis Morio



Bumblebee Orchid



Vicia atropurpurea / benghalensis 


Spiny Euphorbia (Spinosa)

Habitat of a steep open hillside

A pea

Orchid "Fine Moustaches"?

Orchis Italica, Naked Man Orchid

Just curious. The small herds of white cattle roam freely, traced by the sound of their bells

Iris Lutescens

Man Orchid,  Aceras anthropophorum


Wall Brown


Cyclamen repandum

Cream Spotted Tiger Moth

Silene Officialis

 Poppius Rhoeas

Silyburn Marianum

Pisum sativum

Mallus  Syvestris

Borabo officionalis

White Form of Butterfly Orchid

Euphorbia characias



Crab spider


Vinca major

Buglossoides purpureocaerulea

"Choir in Bow ties"?


Lupinus varius

Lackey moth caterpillars

Lupinus albus

Euphorbia and Anemone apennina

The forest floor is covered with white stars

Tiger Moth emerging

Buttercup and Anemone

Wood daisies

Southern Festoon


A  road through the woods

Bee Fly

Water Buffalo kept to produce Mozzarella I presume.


Dactylorhiza romana

Narcissus Poeticus

Orchids "Panthers"?

Cyclamen Repandum


Cyclamen Repandum

Water Buffalo also roam free

Anchusa Cretica

THURSDAY 25th April.       Day 3      
We visited sites on the coast in the morning, and in the afternoon were mainly  watching birds by Lake Lesina and Lake Cagano


Geo-tags for today

A seaside villa in the early morning light

Helen photos introduced Mimosa on a path to the beach

Green Hair Streak

The Beach

A drainage canal

Shrimp fishing offshore

Orange Bumblebee on Lotus halophilus

South African Carpobrotus acinaciform

Moon Daisies

Wall Lizard

Bath White

Silene vulgaris

Green Lizard



Iris Lutescens


White variant Iris Lutescens


Aethionema saxatile


Orchis Lutea

Ornithogalum Umbellatum

Orchis "Rats"

Dactylorhiza romana

Red Vetch,  Tetragonolobus purpureus

Iris Bicapitata

Iris Habitat

Dead Nettle

 Viola reichenbachiana

Anchusa Cretica

White Form, Viola reichenbachian

Having visited various dune and beach sites we went on  to a disused quarry and and then to the lakes for our picnic lunch. Orchids have a great tendency to hybridise and there are a great many mixtures in the Gargano.

Female Blue

Just by the quarry


Wild Carrot

Sedum in the Quarry wall

Wild Carrot with an aiming mark for pollinators'

Lake Sluice Gate

Marble White

Lake Sluice Gate in need of some maintence.

Sylyburn Marianum

Black backed Stilt


Reed Beds

Pendulous Tit nest

Field Poppy


Wall Brown

The Little Egret has just flown off!

A 6 foot snake swims across a ditch

and escapes into the reeds

Blackbacked Stilt

Tamarisk Trees on an embankment with the Pendulous Tit nests

Italian Wall Lizard 

Evening Search

FRIDAY 26th May. Day 4      

After our usual pre breakfast walk, the Group set off for Monte St Angelo and our new hotel in the south of the Gargano via a circular route taking in numerous sites of botanical interest.  We covered a lot of ground without getting much nearer to Monte St Angelo!

Today's Geo-tags

Sunrise from our room in Rodi


The Promenade early morning

Olive Grove with  Lady Orchids

 Lady Orchids in an olive grove behind the hotel

Lady Orchid, Orchis Purpurea

Calystegia sylvatica

Steep Forest

Cyclamen cover the forest floor

Cephalaria longifolia

A clearing in the woods

Tree Heath

Viola Odorata

Roadside photos for Walter Richard and Helen

Greater Celandine

Iris Habitat


Iris Bicapita

Iris Bicapita yellow form


Cyclamen repandum

Country Road

Wall Lizard



Speckled wood

Habitat with Squills in a depression

Orchis Lutea "Snakes tongue"?


Dactylorhiza romana


Lunch Spot in the forest

Very large galls

Viola Odorata



SATURDAY 28th April.     Day 5      
The San Michele Palace Hotel had carpets and hot water which we were grateful for.

We walked into St Angelo before breakfast but the light was very poor.

We visited several sites on the road out of St Angelo to Pulsano and the Abbey of St Mary of Pulsano in Gargarno where rain stopped play. We had our picnic in the minibus in the pouring rain but then, after a brief look in the Abbey, retreated to the hotel.

San Michele Palace Hotel

Today's locations

Street Scene early

Sanctuary of St Michael

Church door

Ophrys incubacea / garganica "Kneelers"?

Ophrys biscutella,"A Bra"?

Rock Roses, Helianthemum nummularium



Ophrys biscutella

Orchids "Old men with forked beards"?

Common Blue

Adonis Blue

Female Common Blue

Rare Swallowtail

Spanish Broom


Three toed Skink, see its vestigial leg.

A wasp guards its nest

Euphorbia Spinosa field


An Italian Matron marched past

Ophry Bertelonii "Ormer shell"

Euphorbia with red spots

View over the road to Pulsano

Silyburn Marianum

Green under wing Blue

 Milky Orchid & Butterfly Orchid


Medicago marina

Imitating a Wasp

Spectacled Orchid

Crab spider on Orchis Italica

Spectacled Orchid

Dry stone hut; possible to use free stones and provide a store.

Orchids growing in pockets in the stone.


Orchis Lactea, Milky Orchid

Ophrys tenthredinifera

Orchis quadripunctata

Hybrid Butterfly Orchid

Man Orchid, Aceras anthropophorum

Silene conica

Butterfly Orchid


Metallic Forester Moth

Orchids quadripunctata & lactea

Roman Road, as it was so straight? An easy fence to cross.

Burnt Tip Orchid Orchis ustulata

Burnt Tip Orchid Orchis ustulata

Squirting Cucumber, Ecballium elatrium outside the Abbey.

Sedum in the wall

             Sattellite Picture          The Abbey of St Mary of Pulsano in Gargano is at the bottom right, the gorge track runs diagonally up from there until it loops back and ends at the woodland

The Abbey overlooking a cliff


Column capital

Cymbalaria Murales appropriately in the wall.

The Sanctuary, which seems to mean cave church.

The way out

A side Altar

SUNDAY 28th April. Day 6.       

We had another attempt at photographing St Angelo before breakfast As it was Sunday the two great bells in the church S.Maria Maggiore were tolling away from time to time to wake everyone up!

Today we drove to the Bosco Quarto (Wooded Area) and the Carbonara Valley in the morning and the road back to Monte Sant'Angelo in the afternoon.


Today's sites

Monte St Angel's Norman castle

Main Gate

Old Roof

Looking down from St Angelo northwards

The Great Bell

Old Roof

Post Box

The Sanctuary of St Michael

Twisting Alley

Steep steps

Hanging out the Washing

Flax austriacum


Flax austriacum

Bumblebee Orchid

Pisum sativum

Orchis Italica

Owl Fly Libelloides coccajus

Peony Masculata

Large White


Adonis annua

Dactylorhiza sambucina 

Anchusa Cretica

Man Orchid and Bonsai Oak


Fungus Morel

Corydalis cava

Bracket Fungus


Narcissus group

Narcissus poetica


Solomon's Seal, Polygonatum multiflorum

About 3mm Orange Weevil


Seed head

Pulmonaria valarsae


Walter down for close u



Clouded Yellow

Common Blue

Iris Lutescens

Orchis pauciflora

Richard getting a close up

Fire bug

Bumblebee Orchid

Wood Daisies

Crepis Rubra

Southern Festoon


Muscari field

Iris Group

Hybrid Orchid

Dactylorhiza sambucina

Four Spot Moth on Euphobia

Orange Bumblebee

Aceras anthropophorum

Three forms of violet

 MONDAY 29th Apr Day 7


We botanised along the road to Manfredonia, we stopped briefly in a lay-by overlooking the plain, and had lunch by an Olive Grove on the way to the "Villa Rosa" a grand house. Then went on, in the afternoon, to spot birds in the Margaret of Savoy salt marsh nature reserve

Today's Geo-tags

Iris Bicapitata

Little Heath


Bath White

Crepis Rubra

Cynoglossum cheirifolium and Hawkweed



A faded Painted Lady


Silene acaulis




Butterfly Orchid


Spiny Euphorbia (Spinosa) in Habitat

Small Copper


Grass Hopper

Orange legged spider

Owl Fly, Libelloides coccajus

Yellow Aspodel



Spanish Broom



Scorzonera hirsuta

Looking over the Plain of Manfredonia

Sedom Anglicum



Road Tunnel from our lay by


Mallus sylvestris

Stone Face



Convolvulus Elegantissimus

Field Poppies


Walter poking out a gecko

Helen and Giant Fennel, Ferula communis

Lunch time Olive Grove

Silyburn Marianum

Fire Bugs

Grass hopper

Love in the mist, Nigella damascenaq

Orange bodied  Spider


Salt Flats

Pumping Station

Cattle Egret

Road Bridge. The road was lined with alternate patches of bright pink, red and yellow as though it had been planted.



Carpobrotus edulis

Yellow Leg Gull

Salt Flats


Black backed Stilts. The long pink legs gradually horizontalise like an aircraft taking off

We used a footbridge to sneak up on the Dunlin but the were not bothered by us!

Drainage Canal

Moorish Gecko

One that lost its tail


TUESDAY 30th Apr Day 9      
To Montenero and the Borgo Celano (Quarry) in the morning. We had lunch by the ponds nature reserve but failed to see the newts as the cows, who formed up aggressively stamping their feet, kept us away. We revisited the Pulsano Gorge in the afternoon 

Today's Geotags

A light in the Hotel Bedroom


Wild Strawberry

Drystone wall and hut


Euphorbia myrsinites

A closed road



Globularia puntata, the only one out.

Dactylorhiza sambucina


Iris Lutescens


Mixed Habitat


Symphytum bulbosum


White Aspodels


Grizzled Skipper

Wall Lizard

Quarry full of Flowers



Farm Hut


Clouded Yellow

Meadow Brown

Wall Lizard

Wall Lizard

Aspodel Habitat


Aggressive cows guarding their young and their territory round the ponds

Italian Hybrid Frog

Preparing to mate with a cover of pond weed.

The Gorge

Clouded yellow

Wild Rose


Campanula in the rock

Wall Lizard

Along the Gorge

Cistus Creticus

Moorish Gecko on a tree


Paul and Walter walking along the unfinished road around the gorge. Walter later found a 5ft black Whip Snake

Italian Marbled White

Ononis Natrix

Cistus monspeliensis

Cistus monspeliensis

Mylabris Polymorpha

Pisum sativum

Lotus Creticus

Rock Rose



Monte St Angelo Castle that evening

On a substation

WEDNESAY 1st May Day 8


This day was devoted to our departure as we had a three hour drive to Bari and Paul wanted to allow half an hour for delays en route. However, we were able to walk round St Angelo, where it was a Bank Holiday, before breakfast.


Early Pilgrims

Tourist Goods

Having an early Coffee


Washing out to dry, most balconies had some,


Tourist Goods


Basket Shop

Bread Shop

Map of Monte St Angelo

Roofs of the old town

Padre Pio a local recent Saint from San Giovanni Rotondo and 3 versions of St Michael who has appeared here many times.

Making an early phone call

Plenty of stairs in the town

The Shutters were open

A quiet street


Off to Work

A Dog Walker

Chat across the alley



Arch in Arches






A prosperous street

Guard Dog


Lady Churchgoers

Two black nuns in blue

Choosing Souvenirs

On their way to the Shrine

A jolly Nun

Local Bread, Cheese etc for sale


More Pilgrims

Local specialities shop

We arrived at Bari 2.5 hrs early for our flight at 17:50, unfortunately the plane was an hour late. The locals arrived half an hour before the flight!   The flight caught up half an hour, but this did not help much as a "security incident"  with the consequent chaos caused another 1.5hrs delay. Having eventually caught the train we arrived home about 10pm very, very tired!