Pescara, Pineto, Atri and Teramo: a surprising scenic balance between sea and mountain.

Here you are our new journey, a new wonderful itinerary entirely dedicated to Abruzzo region, which has led us to visit fascinating places, moving in an astonishing "scenic balance" between the coast and the mountains.

The first stop could only be an attractive town like Pescara is, a vibrant cultural center of ancient origins. Not least, other two wonderful towns have been revealed: Pineto and Atri. We then ended our trip to Teramo, a city with immense artistic heritage.




As soon as we arrived in Pescara our attention was literally captured by one of the symbols characterizing the modern part of this city: the Sea Bridge.

The relatively new urban design dates back to 2009. A huge sail that unifies the two shores, from north to south, of the Aterno-Pescara River.

It is a breathtaking bicycle / pedestrian bridge (465 meters), one of the longest in Europe and the longest in Italy.
The suspended part of the bridge stands on a huge steel pylon fixed on the north bank of the waterway and is positioned obliquely over the river course.
Can watch an amazing panorama through it!

Once left the Sea Bridge, we decided to immerse ourselves in the charming historic part of Pescara, easily reached from all over the city.
In the heart of "Pescara vecchia", we begin our visit to the birthplace of Gabriele D'Annunzio (the famous italian writer and poet) which is located south of Pescara, in the historic side, on the right bank of the river, precisely in Corso Manthonè 116.

The home where the poet spent his turbulent childhood is often recalled in his writings, both in personal declarations as in his work in prose and verse.
Recalling those places to our mind has been a very strong emotion for us!
The building, easily reachable on foot in the alleys of a charming ancient Pescara, preserves the original typology of 19th-century bourgeois house and interior decorations.

Very impressive is the path that takes you among the rooms of this "museum-house", rooms that still preserve the furnishings of008 that time and wall decorations of high artistic value.

Each room is characterized by the various captions that reproduce the verses of the "Notturno", a poem in which the poet recalls environments, objects and people close to him.
On the first floor of the building you can visit the official rooms of the home/museum.
In it are preserved and exposed interesting archives of documents, photographs and memorabilia of the poet.
With great enthusiasm, we left the house of the "Vate", (as people called D'Annunzio) and continued our visit to the oldest and most charming part of the city.

We walked along the parallel road of Corso Manthonè, called Via delle Caserme.
A particularly paved road where lies the Museum of people from Abruzzo (dedicated to the Abruzzo culture from the early 1900s) and its auditorium, located in a prison building dated the time of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies: the so-called "Bagno Borbonico" , well preserved and visitable.
The "Bagno Borbonico" (Bourbon Bath) has incorporated the ruins of the Norman and Byzantine walls of the city. Built at the beginning of the 15th century by Charles V, and then continued by the Duke of Alba, today remains only the part occupied by the infantry barracks, made by the Bourbons in the 17th century.
135On both roads, eighteenth-century buildings with balconies from curved shelves and "goose breast" grilles are faced.
A real high-quality concentrate!

This part of the old town allows you to indulge in relaxing walks to look at the architectural context with ease. It is, in fact, a place not very popular in daylight hours.
At nightfall, however, these two streets (especially Via delle Caserme) are transformed by far.

The serenity of the daytime hours animate downtown Pescara in the night with numerous and popular places, like restaurants and pubs scattered in Via delle Caserme and Corso Manthonè.

Few steps from the old part of Pescara we also visited the Cathedral of San Cetteo, a typical example of Romanesque architecture.
The church, with a rectangular three-aisle plan, is characterized by the impressive white stone façade of neoclassical style.

It was strongly demanded by Gabriele D'Annunzio, who made available financial funds for its realization.

Inside it is housed the grave of the poet's mother, Luisa D'Annunzio.Very
136interesting, inside the church, is a painting by Guercino, St. Francis, donated by Annunzio himself.

The lateral bell tower of the Cathedral is a tower with a drum at the top, followed by a green conical cusp.
Also in downtown city, along the Corso Umberto I, you may visit the Church of the Sacred Heart: a majestic late 19th century building as well as a wonderful example of Neo-Gothic style.
The Church of the Sacred Heart is a small architectural jewel featuring a main facade featuring brick-to-face brickwork.

A large radiant rosette surmounts the gorgeous main portal embellished by the golden mosaic and adjoined by two oblong windows.
The admirable four spiers thrust the church upward, elevating the façade to the bell-tower with a cusp, positioned just behind.
Inside, the church is divided into three naves filled by arches and illuminated by the marvelous artistic stained glass windows.

We, then continued walking along Corso Umberto I crossing the Corso Vittorio Emanuele and leading Sacred Heart Square, Piazza della Rinascita and Piazza I Maggio (where the Verrocchio Palace is also) to the Matteotti promenade.

138Right on the seafront, at the Largo Mediterraneo, we find ourselves in front of the so-called "Cave Ship".

This fountain is a sculptural work by the artist Pietro Cascella made up of a rectangular marble slab of Carrara, containing a stylized ship.
The opposing theses on the much discussed "stylized ship", positioned in 1987 at the promenade, are vey common among the citizens of Pescara.
According to some, the ship would describe the "galea" (ancient rowing boat), according to others, the suffering experienced by the Pescarese prisoners jailed in the Bourbon fortress, used as rowers on spanish ships.

We left then downtown Pescara to continue our itinerary, making a short stop to admire the "trabocchi", on the north side of Porto Canale or the ancient Roman port.
These are very unique habitable buildings, made of wood They are built on stilts and were traditionally used for fishing.

Impossible to remain indifferent to the charm of these "suspended" buildings on the sea and anchored to the rock by large pine logs.


Just 18kms north of Pescara, we are welcomed by a beautiful seaside resort, one of the most popular on the Adriatic sea.138
The delightful town of the Adriatic coast has its name for the characteristic and luxuriant pine forests that border the sea across the coastline.
It turns out to be extremely difficult to describe the wonders of this beautiful unspoilt place effectively.

We could not resist such a splendor: just arrived on the spot we did not hesitate to wear the swimsuit and focus all our attention to a wonderful sea!

We point out that Pineto was awarded this year also with his 14th Blue Flag.
This proves that it is one of the best Italian seaside resorts ... and we can confirm it!
A true oasis of peace that welcomed our days among the finest sandy beaches, wonderful seabed and the freshness of a wonderful pine forest.
The undisputedly undeniable sea area of all is located near the protected area "Torre del Cerrano".
It is right here, on a beautiful stretch of free beach, that stands out the prestigious, ancient fortress of the 16th century, called "Torre del Cerrano", which naturally divides the two municipalities of Pineto and Silvi Marina.

139The Tower is one of the ancient coastal towers of the Kingdom of Naples and is one of the best preserved coastal forts in the entire Abruzzo Riviera.

It currently hosts the home of a Marine Biology Center.

Its construction dates back to 1568 and it is named after the homonymous stream that descends from the hills of Atri and whose mouth is located five hundred meters south of the tower.
In this area stood the ancient port of Cerrano, the port of the hilly town of Atri, a port of Roman origins that is very important for the sea trade of Abruzzo.
The port was later destroyed by the Republic of Venice along with almost all Adriatic ports.

There was a rebirth with Charles V, who decided to build an efficient system of protection against Saracen invasions on the coasts of the kingdom, consisting of visible sight towers, so that they could communicate quickly.
Therefore it was the area of ​​the old port that was chosen as a place to build one of the towers of sight.

It was a real honor for us to visit the tower on a path that also includes a stop at the Sea Museum.

For cycling-tourism lovers, we would like to point out that the coastline of Pineto is all along its length,filled with a pretty cycling track 140from which you can admire extraordinary views.
So we also enjoyed a long bike ride.
Seeing is believing!
During the whole Abruzzo itinerary we were hosted by an excellent hotel structure, the hotel of Hastoria.
The property is located a few steps from the town center, literally on the sea.
In fact, just take a few steps, crossing the lush pine forest, to let yourself go to the fullest relaxation of a well-kept private beach.
Easily reachable both by car and by train (very close to the station), it is a highly recommended facility.


Not far from Pineto (and easily reachable) lies a delightful and ancient village rich in monuments, art treasures, archaeological sites and museums: Atri.

FOTO 000141Once you get to the town it is definitely worth visiting the old town.

The main axis of the small old part is Corso Elio Adriano and via Picena, which connect to the splendid Piazza Duchi d'Acquaviva.
This is a wonderful pedestrian street in the hamlet!

Right here, in a handful of square meters, we find the most remarkable monuments: from the cathedral to the ducal palace and the main churches.
The symbol of Atri is surely the extraordinary cathedral Basilica of Santa Maria Assunta.
Impressive and majestic, there is the elegant façade made of stones from Istria, from which faces a magnificent rosette.

The façade, which ends today with a horizontal frame (typical of many Abruzzi churches), was originally equipped with a Gothic tympanum, but the pediment collapsed after the earthquake of 1563.

Absolutely amazing was our visit to the cloister, from which an unobstructed view of the back of the cathedral and the bell tower opens.

A wonderful brick arched construction, praiseworthy example of medieval monastic architecture with a large central green space.

The work dates back to the early twentieth century, here the Cistercian Fathers and then the Canonics of the Cathedral Chapter142 resided there.

In 1400 it was used as an episcopal cemetery, where the bishops of the Diocese, the prelates and the most illustrious citizens were buried.
Along the corridors you can admire several frescoes of the 1400 and some columns previously fallen and visible under the current pavement, they testify to much older times (second half of the XII century).

At the center of the cloister there is an ancient sixteenth-century octagonal well, that dates back to 1763.
The top of the cloister's upper loggia is spread over three sides made of ten arches each, with small columns dating back to the 11th century. Here there is the lapidary with many Roman and medieval rests.
We would like to point out that the cloister is home to the Capitular Museum, which is also definitely to be visited!

From the Cloister of the Cathedral you access the ancient Roman cistern. An underground environment of great archaeological interest: an example of Roman art from the 3rd century BC.

143Originally it was a public cistern, containing 24,000 cubic meters of water in its large and tall aisles. Later, it was used as a pool to collect the wastewater from the public baths that were built just above it during the imperial age. It is quadrangular, measuring more than 24 meters in width and about 26 meters in length.

Twentynine frescoes uniquely decorate the pillars of this subterranean environment.

Also, in town, deserve a visit the many churches of the old part, the ducal palace and the municipal theater.
The beautiful, historic part of Atri, is absolutely well preserved, is rich in noble buildings (and not only) set in its characteristic alleys and squares.

Each building you encounter, though the walk is pretty brief, is extremely fascinating.
We have noticed that Atri has been proclaimed as an "art city"!

Wandering around the village you will encounter numerous shops selling the so-called "local good": licorice.
From true appetizers to delicacies, we could not really miss the time to visit the typical shops where you can taste dozens types of licorice.


The last stop of our Abruzzo itinerary was the city of Teramo and its great artistic, historical and cultural heritage.144

The city's most famous artistic work is definitely its cathedral, the Basilica Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta.

This spectacular basilica is located in the heart of the old town, on the main road defined by the crossroads of Corso San Giorgio, Corso Cerulli and corso De Michetti.
We arrived there at lunchtime and, in the utmost tranquility, we were able to observe every detail of the externals of the Duomo and from every perspective, perceiving the different styles that characterize it: the lower part made in Romanesque style and the upper one with distinct characters of the Gothic style.
The main facade is crowned by an unusual burial with a powerful portal above the center where the shield and red coat of arms are located, rapresenting the town of Teramo and Atri as well as the bishop Nicolò degli Arcioni, thanks to which the cathedral was enlarged.

On the sides of the large staircase there are four impressive stone lions, which were most likely used as columns of an ancient colonnade.
On the right hand side of the cathedral are embedded limestone reliefs with Roman-era weapons attributed to a funerary monument.
On the back facade of the cathedral there is a valuable bronze sculptural panel, carved in low relief, by the artist Venanzo Crocetti, depicting "L'Annunciazione".

145Certainly the beautiful bell tower, about 50 meters high, does not go unnoticed!

The tower shows subsequent constructive interventions: the lower part was built between the 12th and 13th centuries, the middle part dates back to the 14th century and finally the elaborated octagonal crowning was made in the fifteenth century.

In the heart of the old village, near the Duomo, we could "leap" back in time: up to Roman times!
In fact, in the heart of the village there are the remains of the roman theater and those of the roman amphitheater.

The Roman Theater was built even in the Augustan era, and featured in the base of the stage which rich decorations made in the 30's BC, arranged in alternate niches of rectangular and semicircular shape.
Up to now, only the eastern section of the stage has been revealed as the surrounding area is currently built.
During the recovery work came out the distinction of the Roman Theater from the neighboring Amphitheater.
The Roman Amphitheater of Teramo is only a few meters west of the Roman theater; the most visible part of the bricklayer's remaining is visible in Via San Berardo and in the area immediately to the left of the Cathedral.

The plant had the shape of an ellipse with a perimeter of 208 meters. 146The antique floor is located 6 meters in depth compared to the current road level.

But the most characteristic note of this beautiful city, for us, was to discover the so-called "medieval village" which is located in the very center of town, just a few steps from Piazza Garibaldi.
The medieval village consists of a complex of nineteenth-century buildings built on the small hill of San Venanzio, through an extravagant fusion in a unique structure of different architectural and artistic styles.

Surprisingly mixed with each other, they move from the neo-Gothic style to the Moorish, with numerous contaminations deriving from the many training experiences gained over time by its author: the artist from Teramo, Gennaro della Monica.
This group of buildings and green areas is also identified, very generically, with the name of Castello Della Monica.

The main work, which stands out among the other buildings, is the actual Castle, located in the highest area of ​​the complex.
With the exception of a single building, currently used as a residential building, the rest of the complex is now owned by the Municipality of Teramo and is undergoing restoration and then reopened to the public and returned to the city.

It's a shame that this complex has been overlooked for so long!
We end now visitings the old town, ready to next trip, with great satisfaction for visiting lovely places in this beautiful region.

We are expecting you to follows our next itinerary. Thanks!


Our favourite hotel in Pineto:

Hotel “Astoria”, Pineto (TE)