A small group of islands 40km off the Gargano coast, the Tremiti islands – Isole Tremiti – are almost entirely given over to tourism in the summer, when the tiny population is swamped by visitors. Despite this, they remain relatively unspoilt and the sea crystal clear. The main Tremiti group consists of three islands: San Nicola, San Domino – the biggest – and Capraia, of which only the first two are inhabited.

Brief history

The islands were traditionally a place of exile and punishment. Augustus banished his granddaughter Julia to the islands, while Charlemagne packed his father-in-law off here (minus eyes and limbs) in the eighth century. Monks from Montecassino, on the mainland, first set about building a formidable fortress-abbey on one of the islands in the eleventh century, which managed to withstand frequent assault by the Turks. Later, during the eighteenth century, the islands returned to their old role as a place of confinement for political prisoners, though the Bourbons, concerned at the decline in the local population, shipped in two hundred single women from Naples to encourage a recovery.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

Italy features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

The 10 most beautiful places in Italy – as voted by you

The 10 most beautiful places in Italy – as voted by you

Is there anywhere in the world as easy on the eye as Italy? From art-filled cities to heart-stopping coastlines via gorgeous landscapes, you could criss-cross t…

07 Dec 2016 • Natasha Foges camera_alt Gallery
An expert’s guide: where to stay in Venice

An expert’s guide: where to stay in Venice

Venice has been depicted and described so often that on arriving in the city you might have the slightly anticlimactic feeling that everything looks exactly as …

14 Oct 2016 • Rough Guides Editors insert_drive_file Article
7 highlights that make Genoa Italy’s most delicious city

7 highlights that make Genoa Italy’s most delicious city

Genoa is way off most travellers’ itineraries, but it’s time this northern Italian beauty – and its outstanding local cuisine – gets the recognition it …

10 Aug 2016 • Natasha Foges insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month