The Trabocchi Coast

A day in Abruzzo with Multistrada 950.

The remains of fantastic beasts suspended between earth and sea or futuristic probes for communication with other planets? Neither of these in fact, as what we’re looking at along the lower Abruzzo coastline are ancient “trabocchi”, or rather large, flexible wooden structures previously used for fishing. This ancient machinery is fruit of the genius of yesteryear’s fishermen and farmers and is now a real symbol of historical and cultural heritage.

Travelling the Abruzzo coast by bike means endless views of these fascinating stilt platforms that cling to the beach but jut out into the immensity of the ocean. Caressed by waves and wind, these precarious-looking platforms so firmly anchored to the rocks tell of decades of marine life and stand out for their unique appearance. 

Resistant but flexible, strong and yet gentle, like the people who have embraced and cared for them over time, the trabocchi ensure that this stretch of coast is unique in any season, the perfect destination on a trip to discover the very special area of Abruzzo.
So, pack your rucksack and start your engine. We’re about to enjoy a day on the Trabocchi Coast. Stretching more than 50 kilometres from Ortona to San Salvo, it is an easy route, suitable also for those with wary passengers, dotted as it is with viewpoints and places in which to stop and taste the typical products of such a rich and hospitable land.

An itinerary for everyone

Abruzzo is a destination much loved by two-wheel enthusiasts. The space is so vast and the scenery so varied that it is guaranteed to satisfy all riding tastes.

An excursion up in the Majella mountains, across the Gole del Sagittario and towards the peaks of the Gran Sasso, offers memorable albeit challenging roads. With their twists and turns, these routes can be very enjoyable but require great concentration and a certain degree of riding ability. 

The Trabocchi Coast, on the contrary, is an itinerary suitable for all. Simple, as it’s almost all in a straight line, as well as short, this stretch of road offers hard to beat views of the Adriatic Sea. The coast is narrower here than it is further north, the large sandy beaches transformed into small white pebble bays and the Mediterranean scrub decidedly denser. The Punta Aderci Nature Reserve, located in the Vasto area, is an unmissable stop on this route, one where you can admire the towering cliffs and a trabocco, now inaccessible, that dominates the bluff. An unforgettable view that becomes pure magic at sunset.

From tradition to innovation

The section of coast from Ortona to Vasto, which passes through the towns of San Vito Chietino, Rocca San Giovanni and Fossacesia, today counts more than 25 trabocchi

It is said that these platforms have existed since the end of the Phoenician age, but the first documented mention dates back to the thirteenth century. 

Some of these platforms are no longer accessible to the public. Others though, as of the early 2000s, have been bought, restored and transformed into fish restaurants with a unique atmosphere. These small oases of calm suspended on the blue seas are a dream for lovers of good food and nature.

These coastal trabocchi, now such welcoming and hospitable spots, boast a wide-ranging offer, ensuring that everyone can enjoy a lunch or dinner somewhere between past and future. 

The speciality is of course fish, but there are dishes for all tastes and wallets. From the restaurant that present plates in the “trabocco gourmet” tradition, with award-winning chefs and booking a must – to the family-owned businesses or, for those who prefer to eat light, the offer of an aperitivo menu at a very reasonable price.

Considering the uniqueness of the experience, all we would suggest is that you go with what suits you and, if possible, avoid high season. Stop for a while and enjoy your meal in peace, listen to the lapping of the waves, gaze out towards the horizon and, while taking in the flavours and scents of the sea, be inspired – this could even be the ideal place in which to plan your next two-wheeled adventure.

An extraordinary coast to coast

Winding roads overlooking the sea, small villages and dirt paths through the olive trees, where the Multistrada 950 demonstrates its full versatility. The journey to the heart of Southern Italy is about to begin.

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