Abruzzo Road Trip: Vasto

Vasto, a tiny town on the Adriatic coast of Abruzzo has all the potential to be a traveler’s magnet: a marina with sandy beaches to the South, a medieval hill-top center and a natural reserve along the rocky coastline to the North.

Ristorante Pizzeria La Pergola
Via Adua, 6 – Tel.: 0873 36 87 92, closed on Wednesdays except in July and August
On our first evening in Vasto, we had dinner at this lovely restaurant close to the historic center. We shared the mussels in white wine (cozze alla marinara) for starters. The serving was of a typical size for Abruzzo (read: large) and we could barely finish the pizza we each had for the main course. You can watch the cooks while they prepare your food and the local wine is both affordable and pleasant to drink. The restaurant seemed to be very popular and we were lucky to score the last table. If you don’t want to risk missing an excellent dinner in a lively and warm atmosphere, call ahead to make a reservation.

While the marina is, according to my guide-book, a popular summer destination for visitors from Rome, it was empty when we were there in May. A line-up of empty hotels and deserted restaurants overlooked the beach, waiting for the sun and the crowds to show up.

The old city center is a steep walk uphill from the beach. Everyone in town seemed to follow the same weekend schedule: Lunch at 1pm, ice cream around 5pm and the long time before dinner at 9pm can only be endured with the help of an aperitivo in the early evening. After dinner and while eating ice cream is the perfect time to go for a walk around the center, meet the neighbors and parade a new dress or a newborn baby across town. We recommend that you try to follow the same schedule when you are visiting, and that you watch the time carefully to avoid missing lunch – there are not many opportunities for a late lunch or an afternoon snack before ice cream time starts.

The pebble beaches of the Riserva Naturale di Punta Aderci to the North of Vasto were empty when we visited. Add the traditional fishing structures reaching into the turquoise blue of the Adriatic sea and the rural charm of the surrounding countryside, and the reserve could be a perfect getaway. It would be great if this area could be explored on a round-trip path along the shore and through the fields but as it was, we had to stumble through the fields and ignore a couple of “no trespassing” signs on our exploratory walk.

Time of visit: May 2014

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This article was published on perelincolors.com as a response to the Daily Post’s Photography101 theme “Landscape”. However! We do already have a lot of landscape pictures on our blog. For some of our favorites, have look at our posts about the Friendship Highway (part 1 and part 2) or our recent post about Yosemite National Park.

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