We altered our itinerary to visit the Gargano and are spending three nights in the glorious small town of Vieste. There is a distinct local food scene here, slightly different from parts of Puglia further south. I will go into this in more detail later.

So far, in very brief description:

MASSERIA SAN SALVATORE…about a 30 minute ride into the hills, covered with olive groves, upland from the shore. Even this close to the sea, the cuisine focuses on meat and there was nary a fish or seafood dish on the menu. We took a taxi here from our hotel in Vieste to avoid navigating the very curvy and dark roads at night.

The Masseria is owned by (I believe,) a third generation of the family and our host, Michaela, might be the most warm and welcoming person we have met thus far. The Masseria is a rustic but very beautiful stone-walled enclosure of two separate dining areas, with items from earlier family owners displayed throughout. This is your dream of an Italian Masseria come to life!

The wood-burning oven is the centerpiece of the food-preparation area in the front of the space.

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A few days after arriving home, I found this draft that I had begun while in the Gargano Peninsula; I thought it was lost. So will follow up with this restaurant, and another in Vieste, and then attempt to post some notes on a few of the other destinations we visited during our 3+weeks in Italy last month (September, 2023).

So, continuing on with Masseria San Salvatore, about a half hour’s drive inland from the gorgeous coastal town of Vieste. The only problem common to most of the restaurants we sampled on this trip was that was there were so very many tempting items on offer and our appetites were far too small to sample even a small fraction of these!

The Masseria sells some of their products; probably the most interesting to outsiders are the jars of grilled lampascioni. These look like small onions when you see them raw, in the markets, but are really the bulbs of a type of hyacinth which are gathered in early spring before the flowers bloom. I’ve seen them often further south in Puglia but they are apparently eaten throughout the region and north into Abruzzo.

Oven where most of the cooking takes place; this was originally the home of the grandparents of the current owners:

After consuming all of our welcome platter of local sheep cheese, with the farm’s olives, we began with the sole primi: LASAGNOTTE AL RAGU DI CINGHIALE (18 euro)…hearty perfection.

The dish of the evening proved to be the milk-fed roasted goat, with our contorni of roasted peppers and potatoes flanking the succulent and absolutely unforgettable meat. I could have eaten double the amount of this course! (22 euro)

Partner was equally ecstatic with his milk-fed pork chop. (18 euro):

Shared dessert: Bigne, round p[astry filled with salted caramel cream (8 euro)

With water and one glass of local rosato, total bill=95 euro, about the cost of the proposed RT taxi fare. (Since the driver did not pick us up, after waiting a half an hour, we caught a ride back to our hotel on the beach in Vieste, with a couple from Mantova, and had great fun getting lost, despite GPS, and chatting food the entire way!


Exterior of MASSERIA SAN SALVATORE, outside Vieste, Puglia:


Looks liKe a lovely meal, especially the goat and peppers. Reminds me of mountain meals we had in greece (sans the wild boar pasta, of course!)

Jen, that goat was amazing! What’s also amazing, as you know, is how much the food differs between such small distances. A half hour outside Vieste, meat rules the table while in Vieste, it was fish all the way. WE had not planned to include the Gargano due to the long drive getting there from Canosa and on to Termoli. But I am so glad we changed course. Vieste town itself is a gorgeous “white” town on a cliff, and although we had time for only two places to have dinner, if those were any indication, one could spend a good week or two there… I will write up the other two restaurants shortly.

For now: Who here has heard of “paposcia??” I sure hadn’t before we reached the Gargano.

Its pretty remarkable in Italy how the traditional cuisine changes from fish to meat just a little way off the coast. Not so much when you. Consider that before the auto roads travel was mostly by mule tracks and on foot in many of the scenic areas we visit!

Loving all the ideas from this report!


This is a beautiful restaurant in the beautiful white historic core of Vieste. Very atmospheric with arched ceilings and stone walls. As usual, we booked ahead, asking that our hotel phone for a table that morning. Good thing, as the place became full as our meal proceeded. Actually our meal was unfortunately short
due to my gastro capacity. Aand I didn’t even eat lunch that day, which is pretty normal for me.

We began with two primi, both of which could vie for the title of best pasta of the trip:

Partner ordered from the menu: Panciotti (actual spelling) with eggplant, tomato and melted (!!) caciocavallo (local cheese ubiquitous in much of southern Italy).

I ordered the primi del giorno: Spaghetti con ricci di mare. One of my favorite pastas. Perfection.

I also ordered the spigola, but after the primi I was too full to contemplate eating further and it was too late to cancel so we took it back to the hotel and I snacked the next day. (No photo cause it was packed up before plating).

Total with water, cover and one glass rose: 56.30.
Highly recommended!!


LA BONACCIA…Pizza and Paposcia in Vieste Centro Storico

This was a recommendation from a waiter at our hotel, after I asked about a dish I’d not heard of before: Paposcia. You’ll see it offered at many places but the waiter, who was a local, insisted that this was THE place to sample this staple of the Gargano coastal towns.

LA BONACCIA turned out to specialize not only in paposcia but also in pizza.

Each of these dishes had two sections on the menu: Paposcia and Paposcia Gourmet, Pizza and Pizza Gourmet.

I had the paposcia rustica, which turned out to be a very large sandwich on pizza-dough bread; honestly it was a bit of a disappointment, kind of dry with the amount of bread overpowering the tomato and cheese. In retrospect, I should simply have added more olive oil, but I did not and so gave up after consuming half the dish.

Partner had FAR better luck and was kind enough to share the excellent pizza Margherita, part of which you should be able to see in the foreground of photo, above.

My paposcia cost 10 euro; the Margherita pizza, enough for two, was 6 euro.

From the Vieste in the Gargano, we drove to Molise, which Italians jokingly call, “the region that does not exist,” and settled into our hotel in coastal Termoli, just as the hot sunny weather took a turn for the worse. Will write up our meals in Termoli and inland Molise in another thread.


Win some, lose some when it comes to ordering local specialities. That paposcia does look dry–and so huge, too. The vesion pictured here looks a little crunchier (?):

Looking forward to reading more.