PescaraCopyright: Alexandra Nicolau/Shutterstock.com
PescaraPescara, the gateway to the rugged mountainous area of the Abruzzo region, is framed by the stunning snowy peaks of the Apennine Mountains. The land tumbles through the hilltop villages and down to the blue waters of the Adriatic Ocean. In the town of Pescara itself, the long ten-mile stretches of wide, clean and sandy beaches and superb food and wine explain why it is a favourite vacation getaway among Italian travellers seeking to enjoy both beach-side relaxation and mountain adventures.
The CityPescara is a relatively modern city, particularly given the history of other Italian centres. Yet, it makes up for its lack of history with its atmosphere, fantastic food and endless sunkissed sandy beaches. The city was originally two small fishing villages, which were merged by the fascist government in 1927. The river Pescara that divides the city into North and South as it flows down from the mountains has also shaped the city’s history. For many, Pescara is a port or a train station on the way to another destination, and indeed you can catch a ferry from the city to Croatia, jump on a bus to Rome or head inland into the enticing Abruzzo countryside. However, after extensive redevelopment, the city is attracting an increasing number of visitors who enjoy swimming in the warm waters of the Adriatic and finding a tasty seafood lunch down by the harbour in one of the fisherman’s huts/restaurants. Others adore picking up some designer names in the city centre, before reclining with a coffee in the elegant Piazza della Rinascita. And there are those who can barely wait for the sun to set before hitting the cocktail bar and the beach-side nightclubs.
Do & See
Pescara has something to offer for everyone. Its long sandy beach invite for lazy days in the sun, the Old Town and city centre attract shoppers and history lovers who want to spend their days in museums and watching impressive buildings, and the surrounding area, with its beautiful natural landscapes, is made for trekking and biking and active travellers.
Pescara is right next to the sea, so seafood dishes are plentiful and of high quality at pretty much every restaurant – from the exclusive eateries to the beachside cafés. Pescarese people are also keen on cooking their dishes with chili or peperoncino, which, according to traditional belief, helps drive away evil spirits. One of Pescara’s specialities is "Polpi in purgatorio", cuttlefish cooked in tomatoes, peppers and garlic. For particularly cheap but tasty food, it’s worth heading to Pescara port, where many fishermen have converted their waterside huts (trabocchi) into very small restaurants, often seating as few as five people. Try the recommended regional dishes, Brodetto - a fish soup with mussels, fish and tomatoes and a hunk of bread. Lamb kebabs, known as arrosticini, are another Pescarini favourite. They are cooked on coals and served with bread and oil. To help wash down all this fine dining, sampling some local red wine, Montepulciano D’Abruzzo, is ideal.
Few experiences are as typically Italian as sipping on an espresso shot from a curb-side cafe and watching the world and afternoon sail by. For light snacks and coffee, most cafés are found on and near the Piazza Rinascita or along Corso Umberto or the seafront promenade. Indulge in strong Italian coffee, delectable pastries, and of course, creamy gelato.
Bars & Nightlife
Pescara is essentially a holiday town, so there are plenty of places along the seafront to have a drink, intermingled between the multitude of pizzerias and seafood restaurants. The other key area to head to is the Old Town, where in the balmy summer evenings the bar crowds spill out onto the streets. During the summer, the beach is packed with partygoers, with many nightclubs having outside venues on the beach itself. Those looking for the chance to dance need do no more than drive or walk along the beach and listen for whatever takes their fancy.
Italian fashion is definitely the most sought after purchase in Pescara, with numerous boutiques carrying trend-setting examples from the country's many prolific designers. But the city also affords visitors the chance to take home some local food products and wines from different shops and markets, as well as antiques, knick knacks and souvenirs.