The Trabocchi Coast

The Trabocchi Coast

Abruzzo is a wonderful region which presents a unique territory of  his kind, able to give emotions and extraordinary experiences thanks to its beautiful landscapes. Among these stands out the coast side that goes from Ortona to Vasto : a continuous series of coves and inlets, enclosed between high cliffs and rocks, that make it , partly, similar to Ocean coasts of Portugal and Scotland. We are talking about The Trabocchi Coast, one of the most beautiful and attractive stretches of coast of Italy.

Why is it called Trabocchi Coast?

Because of the widespread presence of “ trabocchi”, amazing and particular “ fishing equipment” built on wooden piles and envoleped by a tangle of ropes that is used to drop the nets. Their origin is unknow and it is difficult to determine exactly the period where they were invented. According to the most accredited thesis they date back to the 17th century , when groups of carpenters and Jewish  rope makers thrown out from Spain established themselves along Abruzzo coast and, unable to navigate, they created these odd buildings.

After years of abandonment, lately they have become a symbol of local fishing tradition and they have been rediscovered as an  historical and cultural evidence , to be keep and pass on the new generations. Some of them have been transformed into restaurants where you can enjoy  delicious meals based on fresh fish , part of which is fished on the spot.

This part of the coast , famous for its natural beauty and for its heterogeneity has inspired also the famous writer Gabriele D’Annunzio , who in his novel “ Triumph of Death” , published in 1894 he compared trabocchi with “enormous spiders” and he wrote “ That chain of  promontories and of lunate gulfs gave the image of a continuation of offers , as each sense brought  a cereal treasure . The brooms spread throughout the coast a golden mantle. From every head went up a  dense cloud of effluvium like from a censer. The breathed air delighted  like a sip of elixir.”

The Trabocchi Coast can offers really everything and satisfy every kind of traveller : from sandy beaches to the rocky coves , from the rich vegetation to the beautiful towns, without obviously forgetting the great wealth of food and wine , there is nothing missing.

For lovers of the sea and sunbathing there is only spoilt for choice. Along the coast there is a great number of wonderful beaches , some of which are wild and still little known.

One of the most beautiful is of course “the Beach of Punta of Acquabella” in Ortona, a real corner of paradise. Protected from a cliff, it is bathed by a particularly cleaned water that lets to see sandy underneath and stones.

In Ortona there is also the beautiful beach of “Punta Ferruccio”, with white stones and crystalline waters , between rocky promontories overlooking the sea.

The beach of Turchino in San Vito Chietino is wonderful, its name comes from the crystalline colour of the sea.

Here you can find the Turchino Trabocchi ,so much admired by D’annunzio, it keeps entirely the original structure.

Nearby there is also the “ Eremo DAnnunziano”, a small rural house surrounded by a wild and impervious nature where the poet spent a short stay in the summer of 1899 with Barbara Leoni and that inspired his first literary production. The residence, currently of private property, can be visited on demand.

Do not miss the beach of Fuggitella in Fossacesia, surrounded by  a lush nature , which  is characterized by its white pebbles mixed with sand. An other beautiful beach is Punta Cavalluccio in Rocca San Giovanni , a small strip of sand bathed by cobalt blue waters.

For those who love staying in touch with nature , the place is full of protected areas and natural reserves. In the municipality of Vasto you can find the beautiful Reserve of Punta Aderci , the first one which has been set up in Abruzzo in the coastal area. It expands for 285 hectares and the area of greatest naturalistic interest is constituted  by the beach of Punta Penna which includes, many typical plant species.

In Ortona the Reserve “Ripari di Giobbe” is worth a visit  , surrounded by an area of considerable naturalistic value. The protected area includes some cliffs overlooking the sea and wonderful gravelly beaches with white pebbles.

Between San Vito Chietino and Rocca San Giovanni there is instead the Reserve Grotta delle Farfalle, within which it is enclosed an unexpected shrine of beauties and natural values of great interest.

Do not miss also the Lecceta of Torino di Sangro, the only place where the largest population of terrestrial tortoises lives and reproduces. These are only some of the several protected areas of Trabocchi coast.

In the reserves it  is possible make pic-nic and practice many activities : trekking, hiking, canoeing, rafting, mountain bike and much more.

To the natural and landscape riches can be added the historical riches. On the coast beautiful cities appear and they deserve to be discovered.

Among these we note : Francavilla al Mare with his medieval village that has much to offer from the historical and cultural profile and the very interesting Museo Michetti , dedicated to Abruzzese painter Francesco Paolo Michetti.

Ortona, full of historical beauties like the Aragon Castle and Saint Thomas Cathedral , San Vito Chietino , with a nice historical centre perched on a rock spur characterized by old churches and remains of the defencive  walls; Rocca San Giovanni , one of the most beautiful towns  of Italy, where you can see wonderful architectonic masterpieces and Vasto, the old Histonium whose historical centre is full of monuments that are witness of a glorious past.

You shouldn’t underestimate the wine and food side of the experience. The typical cuisine  offers both dishes of land and sea , made with  top quality ingredients and according to tradition. Even if it is that one coastal, dominated by local fish , the real protagonist of the tables. Moreover, this land is famous all over the world for the production of wine and extra virgin oil. The real highlight is brodetto alla vastese , “lu vrudatte”as it is called in dialect , a delicious soup whose recipe provides the use of at least 11 different  types of fish.

You should try also the excellent fried of paranza , mussels or the stuffed squids , sea snails and pasta with fresh anchovies.

A typical product , very popular both in country cooking and sea food is sweet dried pepper , known also like ferfellone. And in the end you can never miss the sweets. Beside the unfailing bocconotti , delicious sweets of short pastry filled with a delicious chocolate and almond filling , there are : the parrozzo , sweet  with a semi-spherical shape based on almonds and semolina , covered with dark chocolate ; Il Piacere , a real masterpiece of pastry enriched with a delicious filling; and the nevola of Ortona a crumbly waffle rolled cone-shaped, made with mosto cotto.

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