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Vasto. Amore a prima visita. Eng

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Published on Oct 25, 2011

Overlooking the splendid gulf, in front of a panoramic view of the sea that seems to take you back in time, it is easy to let oneself be enchanted by Vasto's history. A fascinating and complex history, which borders on the legendary, according to the legend that the city was founded by the Greek Diomedes, one of the mythical heroes of Homer's Iliad, returning from the war of Troy.
In truth, the history of Vasto began with the arrival of the Frentani, an italic population of Samnite descent, which presence is proven by the "Osche" inscriptions; the discovery of amphorae in the gulf of Vasto also proves the existence of maritime trading and the great political and religious importance the city held over the Frentani territory.
Allied to Rome and named Roman Municipality of Histonium, it shared the events of the empire, becoming one of the most flourishing cities along the Adriatic coast.
It still holds evident traces of the fabric of a typical urban roman city, with its orthogonal road network in the north part of the historic centre, parts of which were enveloped by the medieval walls.
The ancient thermal baths dating back to the second and third century AD are still visible along Via Adriatica, in the fortified part of the city that dates back to the late antiquity, where precious mosaic flooring have been discovered. Traces of a roman amphitheatre are concealed under the Rossetti plaza and they are still partly visible from the dungeons of the Castle of Caldoresco.
Following the fall of the empire and the invasion of the barbarians, the city became residence of the Gastaldo, the administrator of justice, taking on the name "Guasto", from which then Vasto was derived. Guasto was firstly the domain of the Caldoras; then it was passed on to the Guevara family and finally to the Avalos, who moved here the splendors of the Iberian court. Palazzo d'Avalos remains one of the most significant examples of Renaissance architecture in the Abruzzo region. Next to it, it is possible to find wonderful palace gardens facing the sea, and inside, the Archeological Museum, that boasts a rich collection of valuable finds.
On the eastern walk that coasts the ancient village, the Loggia Amblingh opens up with a splendid balcony vertically hanging among the bricks rich with the city's history and the olive fields and orange groves lying underneath, gradually descending towards the sea. From here, with only a look one can view the beautiful "golfo d'oro" ("golden gulf"), the hills of the nearby Molise region, the Gargano ramifications and the enchanting Tremiti Islands.
The walk can continue through Via Adriatica, where it is possible to find oneself next to the roman thermal baths and in front of the facade and beautiful doorway leading to the Church of San Pietro, in memory of the great rockslide of the year 1956 that literally halved the historic downtown.
Among other religious buildings the original 14th century facade of the San Giuseppe Cathedral truly stands out. It is possible to visit also the Church of Santa Maria Maggiore where the Chapel of the Sacra Spina can be found, the church of the Madonna del Carmine, and finally the Church of San Michele Arcangelo, Patron of the city.
Today, Vasto is a modern city, one of the most important centers in the Abruzzi region, surely leader in seaside tourism, which increased considerably with the Vasto Marina.
The Vastese coast is the most extended and varied of the region. A long, fine and golden beach is at the south, while north of the "Bagnante" monument, the coast is jagged, with reefs, bays and coves, which are made even more charming by the overflow that stretches out into the sea, and the "trabocchi", ancient fishing tools hanging there as a symbol of the culture and the history of this territory.
Beyond the reefs, the Punta Penna Beach and the Reserve of Punta Aderci, with its promontory dropping over the sea represent a wonder touch of wild and unspoiled nature. It is a reign of dunes and Kentish plovers, a splendid oasis reserved for plant life, paragliding lovers and for all those who love the beaches and the Mediterranean sea floor.
An original interpretation of the sea culture is the cuisine of this land, where nature, which here is particularly lush, and human ingenuity, which has refined the use of materials and cooking techniques in a unique way, allowed enjoying specialties in every season.
The Vastese fish soup "lu vrudatte", as it is called in dialect, is one of the most simple and most tasty plates of the seafood cuisine in the Abruzzo region, pride of the local gastronomy, because it involves, in its typical processing, the use of selected products fished from the sea and grown on local farms.

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