Vasto is located on the Adriatic Sea approx. 80 km south of Pescara and is still quite unspoilt, like most of the Abruzzo region in general. The old town is a bit beyond the fine sandy beach of Marina di Vasto down by the water.
History: Vasto has a welcoming centre with a long history behind it; evidence of which you will find throughout if you wish to tour the town. It was founded by the Greeks, but the relics that have been unearthed come from the time when Vasto was a municipality under the Roman Empire - namely the Roman baths, cisterns, mosaics and the remains of an amphitheatre.
The city's structure was modified in the 15th Century by Giacomo Caldora, who was the most powerful man at the time. The Caldora family built new city walls, which can still be seen today: Torre Bassano in Piazza Gabriele Rossetti - main city square - Torre Diomede in Vico Storto del Passero, Torre Diamante in Piazza Verdi and Porta Catena, with Castello Caldoresco as the primary line of defence.
Il Castello Caldoresco is an impressive Renaissance castle from the mid 1400's. It has a square shape and has also been used as a jail and a courthouse during the 1600's. The castle was later used as a private residence and is still partly used in this respect today.
From Piazza G. Marconi at bar Venezia there is a staircase down to the Loggia Amblingh, which ends at Giardino Napolitano di Palazzo d'Avalos. There is a small street located outside of the city with breathtaking views to include Vasto Marina below - but also Molise, Gargano and on sunny days the Tremiti Islands. Here you will find several restaurants and bars, who in addition to the menu, offer incredibly evocative views. It is a dream scenario to sit here on a warm summer evening, enjoying an authentic meal and a good glass of wine.
Nature reserve Punta Aderci:
About 8 km north of Vasto town's port, which previously scheduled services to the Tremiti Islands, just north of the Harbour is the nature reserve Punta Aderci. The area presents diversity in nature consisting of cliffs, beaches, flora - all in close contact with the sea. The reserve is approx. 5 km long and covers an area of 285 hectares. Along this coastline you will see many of the classic fishing tools trabucco, which gives the coast of Abruzzo, Molise and all along the Gargano National Park plenty of character. There is free access to the area and good parking.
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Tourism: In July and August the population increases to nearer to 100,000 people when the Italians from Rome, Naples and other parts of Italy come here on holiday. Vasto also attracts international students who come to study at the Italian language school. The rest of the year there are only around 36,000 residents. Out of season it is quieter and more pleasant to visit and you can leisurely walk around and see the city's churches, squares and beautiful buildings like Palazzo D'Avalos which faces the sea and today serves as a museum. The castle dates back to the 1300's and is named after the original Spanish family D'Avalos, who restored it in the mid 1500's after it was burned down by a Turkish attack.
There are few places left on the Mediterranean where you can find such a fine beach with clear water, beautiful greenery in the background and a rich history. In 2011, it was awarded the blue flag (La Bandiera Blu) again, as it was during the years 1997-1999 and 2003-2008. This symbolizes a high quality of water, coast, service, safety measures and environmental concerns.
But Vasto Marina is more than just a blue flag. Here are a few kilometres of wide sandy beaches, promenade with bars, restaurants and shopping, lido's and play areas and plenty of parking and piers.
Food: During the month of June, a festival is held called "il di pesce alla Brodetto Vastese" which celebrates the eating of one of the local specialities, a fish soup. Fish and shellfish are very important local delicacies, but at the weekly market you will also find other local specialities such as Pecorino - sheep's cheese - and ventricina - a spicy salami with peppers and chilli among other things.