The Atlantic and the Pacific are seas of distance, the Mediterranean a sea of propinquity, the Adriatic a sea of intimacy.
~ Predrag Matvejević
I realize that I am posting a lot of photos from Italy, but it is a way for me to relieve some of the sadness I feel from not being able to be there. I hope that my sharing its beauty will make you happy if for only a few minutes.
Today, let me take you to Italy’s Adriatic Coast. Most people associate coastal Italy with the Amalfi Coast (coming soon) and the Cinque Terre, the west coast. There is beauty, though, on the east coast.
Italy’s Adriatic coast runs over 775 miles from Trieste in the north to Santa Maria di Leuca on the peninsula’s “heel” in the south. The most well-known city on the Adriatic is Venice (also coming soon), but much of the coast north of Venice is full of beautiful beaches, lagoons, and bays.
About midway down the coast is Pescara, the largest city in Abruzzo. La Fontana Nave di Cascella a Pescara, a travertine sculpture that sits on the coast and commemorates the city’s maritime history. If you can’t tell, the sculpture is an interpretation of a galley, an ancient rowing ship. The fountain sits between the sea walk and the Adriatic, and if you look closely, you can see the sea in the background.
Resorts sit along a good portion of the coast in Pescara, and umbrellas and lounges extend as far as the eye can see. You can rent an umbrella and lounge by the day, by the week, by the month, and by the season. (Side note: The first time we were in Pescara, it was mid-May before the “season” began. Resort workers were busy setting up the umbrellas.)
Each resort also rents loungers and changing rooms, and most have beach bars, restaurants, showers, and Wi Fi. Just so you know, those who buy the season or monthly passes get a better location on the beach.
Along the 50 or so miles south of Pescara, you run into the Trabocchi (tra-bow-key) Coast. The trabocchi (trabocco is the singular) appear to be homes on suspended stilts above the sea, but they are ancient fishing huts. Extending from the huts are antennae that hold the nets that the fishermen lower into the sea to catch the fish.
Gabriele D’Annunzio, the Abruzzese writer, once called the trabocchi “colossal spiders,” and others have compared them to space aliens. Today, many of the trabocchi today serve as restaurants. Visit one and eat a variety of the day’s catch.
The towns along the coast are beautiful in their own way.
Ortona has several beautiful beaches and a museum that highlights a battle fought there. San Vito Chietino is “home” of the trabocchi as several grace its beautiful coastline.
Fossacessia, the southernmost town on the Trabocchi Coast, is home to the Abbey of San Giovanni in Venere. Built on the site of an ancient temple to Venus, the abbey dates to the 6-7th centuries. Much of what remains was part of the restorations that started in 1950.
Next time, we’ll leave Abruzzo and head to Puglia, the southernmost region on the coast.