You can’t leave Abruzzo without having visited its most characteristic stretch of coastline, the Trabocchi Coast, approximately 50 kilometres long that can even be explored without taking the car and instead using local trains, where nearly all of them allow bikes to be taken on board. Depart from Francavilla al Mare, whose cycle path crosses much of the town, following the beach at certain points, and proceed to Ortona where you can walk to the port and enjoy a swim in the sandy bay of Lido dei Saraceni. From here, through a fragrant pine forest, take the trail of the reserve of Punta dell’Acquabella that overlooks the bay of the same name. On sunny mornings why not spend a few hours discovering tourism fishing (Coop. Flying Fish +39 085 9063004) on an offshore fishing boat and take part in the local fishing but as a protagonist.
Head off again and cross San Vito with a view of the beautiful Dannuntian hermitage on a promontory overhanging the sea. From the old station of San Vito Marina, the route of the former disused railway continues uninterrupted for 7 km as far as Fossacesia. The first section of the route between the old track is passable and enables you to enjoy the sea with its beautiful fishing huts on stilts. On the state road to Fossacesia visit the wonderful twelfth-century San Giovanni in Venere Abbey. Also well worth a visit is the cloister where exhibitions by local artists are often held. At Torino di Sangro you can walk across the Regional Natural Reserve of the Coastal Ilex Grove, 175 hectares of coastal woodland and Mediterranean shrub.
Close by, visit the English Cemetery. Finally, from Casalbordino station, heading south just over a kilometre, you reach the Punta Aderci Reserve with its cliff which in some places is high and rugged and is reminiscent of northern European landscapes while in others it becomes gentler and Mediterranean. The trail is passable either on foot or by bike. The view is spectacular where, from June onwards, the high area of the Reserve boasts the flowering of Van Gogh-like sunflowers. Descending, the rocky stretch of Punta Aderci meets the sandy area of the beach of Punta Penna with its beautiful Mediterranean dunes.
It is worth ending the trip here on the Trabocchi Coast, reaching the small pier, just before the port of Vasto Marina. Looking seawards, on the one hand you can admire the fishing huts on stilts and on the other a small and characteristic lighthouse. If you are tired, the train station is right beside you!
Photo credits: @Green Maiella LAG