Summer is definitively coming to an end, October with its autumn scent has arrived and with it, the colorful umbrellas that crowd the beaches of the Adriatic coast are closing to leave space for the tranquility of the sea in winter.
Pescara, the most loved and crowded seaside town in Abruzzo, is also ready to put its umbrellas and sun loungers in the dark of the warehouses.
This long, golden, sandy coast attracts thousands of people every year, thanks to its own tendency to seaside tourism which was consolidated in the early 1900s when the hotels of Castellammare Adriatico hosted about 4,000 tourists!
This strong push to seaside tourism was mainly due to the construction of the coastal railway in 1866, which allowed the coastal resorts to expand inland with wide roads to reach the surrounding hills.
Pescara currently offers not only beach and fun but also preserves years, indeed centuries of history. Recently constituted, it was elevated to provincial capital in 1927 with a combination of two towns: Castellammare Adriatico and Pescara, located on the two opposite shores. In fact, recently antique remains dated 6500 BC have been found.
It has always been a maritime town, formerly called Aternum, and used as a maritime emporium to carry out commercial activities with other centers located on the Adriatic or overseas coasts. Its current name, Pescara, comes from the ancient name Piscaria, thanks to the abundance of fishing that took place in its waters. Destroyed by the Lombards and disputed by the Normans and the Aragonese, it was transformed during the fifteenth century into a stronghold that fought back a powerful attack of the Turkish fleet in 1556. Subsequently, in 1798, the French occupied the city, which offered resistance to the domination thanks to General Gabriele Manthonè.
During the last decades of the 1800s, a flourishing Pescara saw the birth of Gabriele D’Annunzio and the visit of King Vittorio Emanuele II. It is said that, while contemplating the coast, the hills, and the lush plain, the king exclaimed “What a magnificent area to build a big city!”
A big city that, after the destruction of the last war, has risen and healed its wounds by reconstructing inner neighborhoods. Today Pescara is a municipality of 120,286 inhabitants and the capital of the homonymous province.
For a weekend or a relaxing week, the ancient Piscaria offers a wide range of activities and attractions to visit, for families with children, couples and young people. The house of D’Annunzio, for those who want to immerse themselves in the writer’s life, is surely the first stop. Located in Pescara Vecchia (Old Pescara), the house of Gabriele D’Annunzio is an 18th-century building belonging to the family since the 19th century. Since it became a national monument in 1927, it is now a true museum trail that collects books, dresses, photos and memorabilia belonging to the great writer.
During a walk, to digest the delicacies of Abruzzo, you will surely stop in front of a sculpture, inaugurated in 1987, near Largo Mediterraneo, close to the beach on the seafront of the city. Loved and hated at the same time by the residents of Pescara, this sculptural work by Pietro Cascella, now represents the symbol of Pescara. The fountain is made up of a rectangular bathtub in Carrara marble, containing a stylized ship that recalls the galea, an ancient rowing boat. The reference is deliberately inspired by the great maritime tradition of the city, but there are other interpretations that consider the Ship a re-enactment of the pain suffered by prisoners locked in the Bourbon Fortress, used as rowers on Spanish ships until 1859.
Recently built, a particular mention goes to Ponte del Mare (Bridge of the Sea). Opened on December 8, 2009, and designed by architect Walter Pichler, this impressive 466-meter-long construction has earned the title of the largest cycle-pedestrian bridge in Italy. Its position and its height reveal the beauty of the coast of Pescara, the sea, and the impressive and nearby Ferris wheel. It is very impressive even at night, with the lights that turn on to heat the underwater.
Sea, history, and relaxation, this is Pescara.
Copyright photos: Anna Falasca
Article written by: A. Falasca
For your overnight stay, we recommend…