National Geographic presents the new documentary on the island’s corals and underwater wonders

The Tremiti Islands archipelago is located only 20 km from the Northern coast of Gargano, the spur of the Italian boot. It is part of the Gargano National Park and a pearl of the Adriatic Sea. A world of raggedy cliffs, sandy coves and thick pine woods, surrounded by the cobalt-blue sea. Moreover, its crystalline waters store an incredible treasure of corals. Now we can all appreciate its unique importance for the ecosystem and its beauty on the Italian website of the National Geographic Society. It released a new documentary, ‘The hidden treasure of the Tremiti Islands‘, based on the research of Giovanni Chimienti.

The archipelago is made of five islands. San Nicola is the historical, religious, and administrative heart of the archipelago. San Domino, of indescribable beauty, is the largest and most scenic island. Its coastline is characterized by the presence of several caves. Capraia is the second-largest island. It is completely wild and uninhabited. Cretaccio, between the first three, is simply a large uninhabited rock, which, according to a legend, is haunted by ghosts. Pianosa, much further out at sea compared with the others, is a deserted island. It is just a rocky plane but it has extraordinary environmental importance. Indeed, it is the most protected under the Marine Protected Area established in 1989 to preserve the exceptional variety of underwater plant life.

Underwater wonders that Chimienti, National Geographic Explorer and researcher at Bari University and CoNISMa (National Interuniversity Consortium for Marine Sciences), explored and told in his documentary that is now available on

It tells the results of the study conducted on black corals found in the seabed of the Marine Protected Area, thanks to a project financed by Gargano National Park and the National Geographic Society.

Chimienti and his team discovered a forest of black corals, made up of about 800 colonies scattered in three different sites around the islands. The coral appears white, the color of the octopuses that cover the organism when it is alive. However, the structure of the coral that hosts the colony of octopuses is black.
Chimienti explained: “With this documentary, we wanted to tell a story that talks about scientific research, corals, nature conservation but also about commitment, dedication, stubbornness, and dreams, in one of the most beautiful places in the Mediterranean: the Tremiti Islands Marine Protected Area. In addition to highlighting already-known beauties, the documentary also shows hidden treasures, those which most people probably do not normally see but which exist in the mosaic of biodiversity and submerged landscapes that the Reserve hosts.”

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