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Vasto: picturesque base to discover Abruzzo and Molise

What to do, what to eat and where to stay in Vasto, Abruzzo

Trabocchi on the coast near Vasto, Abruzzo (photo: Unsplash)

Do you want to discover something new during your next holiday in Italy? Then consider Vasto in Abruzzo. A beautiful coastal town on the border of the regions of Abruzzo and Molise.

Abruzzo and Molise

The location of Vasto in Italy (source: Google Maps)

This makes Vasto also the operating base for exploring the special regions Abruzzo en Molise to discover. But in Vasto itself you can also stroll through the small alleys or spread your towel on one of the beautiful beaches.

What are you waiting for? 

Punta Aderci, Vasto (Photo: Unsplash)

Vasto is a city of around 40.000 inhabitants in the Abruzzo. It is located in the province of Chieti, known for the 'Terre di Chieti' wines.

Vasto town center is located on a plateau above the Adriatic coast. Here you have (almost) everywhere fantastic viewpoints over the sea.

Vasto is also a great place for a real beach holiday. Directly to the sea is Marina di Vasto, the harbor town with wide sandy beaches.

Impression of Marina di Vasto

History and culture of Vasto

A quick history lesson for the facts: Vasto has a lavish history (where in Italy isn't that?).

In the center you will find the remains of an old amphitheater and near the city you will find several thermal baths. After the fall of the Roman Empire, the city was destroyed by several hotheads.

But in the Middle Ages things turned out well. When the city came into the hands of the D'Avalos family, who built the gigantic Palazzo D'Avalos there, everything and everyone in the city improved.

Today, the palazzo is no longer inhabited by a chic family, but you will find the Museo Archeologico there, among other things. 

The Adriatic Sea near Vasto (photo: Martine van Groenigen)

What to do in and around Vasto?

1. Punta Penne and other nature reserves

Around Vasto you will find various (protected) nature reserves. One just a little more beautiful than the other, but something for everyone.

Looking for the real untouched nature? Then visit the Punta Penne. No, this name does not refer to the type of pasta (although there is probably a restaurant somewhere where you can get it).

The Punta Penne is the roughest part of the Abruzzese coast. The rocky coast has been declared a protected nature reserve, but Italy wouldn't be Italy if there wasn't a beautiful sandy beach where you can lay down your towel or take a nice walk. 

2. Discover the trabocchi 

Costa dei Trabocchi (photo: Wikimedia)

Well, if you say the coast here, you say the trabocco coast. One of the most special sights on the Adriatic coast.

Because despite the fact that the spectacle of the high cliffs and the long sandy beaches is already dazzling, the trabocchi provide an extra 'wow' effect. Since when these strange fishing installations have been on the coast is not entirely clear.

What is clear is that they were invented by farmers and not by fishermen. The farmers of that time understood all too well that if the crop on the land failed, they had to have a plan B up their sleeve; the harvest from the sea.

Unfortunately there are not many trabocchi left along the coast, but the 15 that do exist are extremely well guarded and used.

Some have been transformed into a museum or restaurant. The trabocchi restaurants are small, so booking a table is a must. I don't think we need to talk about what you get served there: fish.

The Costa dei Trabocchi (source:

Do you want to drive the entire Costa dei Trabocchi? Which can. The route is 50 kilometers and takes you along beautiful bays and reefs.

The best (and easiest) route to drive is from Pescara. From here head towards the town of San Vito Chietino and the route will follow automatically through the signs along the road. 

3. Winegrowers

When you say the Vasto, you say wine. This town is located in the middle of the Terre di Chieti, a term that you have probably seen on your wine bottle.

Millions of bottles of wine are bottled here in the area every year, because let's face it: there is no other wine as good as Italian wine.

Fancy a trip or do you want a box to take home? Many winegrowers in the area welcome you with open arms.

A short search on Google Maps around your whereabouts often yields the best addresses.

Do you want to make sure that they are aware (and can therefore prepare) about your arrival? Call in advance if it is convenient, fun guaranteed. 

Where to eat in and around Vasto?

1. Osteria La Votta Pienec

If there is one restaurant in Vasto where you are sure to have a great night, this is it. Roberto, the owner, gives you the feeling of coming home and ensures that you enjoy the delicious, authentic food in a relaxed manner.

The restaurant is somewhat hidden in a side street just off the tourist paths, but is well worth the search. The menu consists of about 15 dishes (mostly meat) which are written on a blackboard daily based on availability.

So it just depends on what was on offer at the cheesemonger, greengrocer and in the fields in the morning, what you get on your plate in the evening.

2. Braceria & Arrosticini It was time

If you're in Abruzzo, you can't skip the lamb arrosticini. At Era Ora you know for sure that you have come to the right place for the classic.

The service is fantastic and if you want to leave, the owner will stop you with his own liqueurs. As the name of the restaurant says, do you want to eat something other than meat? Then you better go through a few doors.

3. Ristorante La Votta di Marec

A fish restaurant should of course not be missing from this list. You're right on the coast, so it doesn't get any fresher than this.

At La Votta a Mare you can taste the classics from the Adriatic. Caught in the morning, on your plate in the evening.

In summer, the restaurant also has a fantastic terrace with a view, of course, of the sea. I don't think you get any closer to the basics of what's on your plate.

4. Ristorante Trabocco Trimalcione

Just above Vasto you will find Trabocco Trimalcione. This trabocco has been completely restored and transformed into a luxury fish restaurant. Not only the atmosphere of the restaurant and the view is meragliosa, also what is eventually served on your plate is to die for.

Here too, what is harvested and caught is prepared, so it varies from day to day. Owners Mario and Emilia really ensure that you have an evening of your life here, partly thanks to the culinary delights they serve.

Where to stay in and around Vasto?

1. B&B Villa Actea by Giovanni 

View from the balcony of Villa Actea in Vasto (photo:

Just outside the old town center of Vasto, and thus 'downstairs', is located in Marina di Vasto (the harbour) Giovanni's fantastic B&B Villa Actea.

In 2020 he completely gutted this beautiful building and restored it to its former glory. And you see! All rooms are equipped with the most beautiful details and luxury.

There is a terrace and a beautiful garden, but if you book an 'upstairs' room, you also have your own balcony + 24/7 view of the Adriatic Sea.

This B&B is a good base to discover Vasto. Note: the town itself is located on a high plateau. You can do this on foot, but then get ready for a super steep hike. 

View B&B Villa Actea

2. Camping Village Grotta del Saraceno

Camping Village Grotta del Saraceno (Photo:

Prefer camping? This super holiday park in the bay of Vasto is your place. The park has an area of ​​140.000 m2, so there is (almost) always a place available.

Whether you're an outdoor fan or prefer a quiet holiday: despite the size of the campsite, the quiet is separated from the 'wild'.

You can go here with your caravan, but also in one of the bungalows or mobile homes. Right next to the campsite is a large sand and stone beach, which you can reach via a panarama path or with a free shuttle service.

Snorkel, dive, sport fishing in one of the gravel and rock coves, take the shuttle service to the nearby beach Punta Penne and the beautiful nature reserve, have an 'ape roll' at the bar and in the evening after a good dinner you hear the waves breaking. Yes, this is vacation. 

View Camping Village Grotta del Saraceno

3. Agriturismo Montevecchio 

Agriturismo Montevecchio in Vasto (photo:

A typical Italian holiday is also called 'camping at the farm.' You can find different ones all over the country agriturismos who welcome guests all year round in their B&B or with the caravan on their campsite.

So is Agriturismo Montevecchio. Here you sleep in one of the 5 rooms of the B&B that are fully equipped.

During your stay you can relax, but also roll up your sleeves at the agriturismo and who knows, you might even get your own harvested vegetables back on your plate in the evening! 

View Agriturismo Montevecchio

4. Baia Delphis Resort

Baia Delphis Resort in Vasto (photo:

Still a little more luxurious? Why not? Baia Delphis is a beautiful resort, right on the sea. You have your own apartment here with a garden and a roof terrace with a large two-seater beach chair. Enjoy endless sunsets with the most beautiful sea view.

Count on beautifully landscaped grounds and a beautiful interior design in the apartments. Private beach for hotel guests only. Friendly welcome with excellent breakfast and dinner.

View Baia Delphis Resort

More tips for accommodation options in and around extensive required? View the best rated places here.

Written by Martin van Groenigen

In 2016 Martine van Groenigen lived as an au pair with an Italian family for six months. She learned all the tricks of the Italian kitchen and lost her heart there. Not to a man, but to the country itself. Since her return, there hasn't been a day that she doesn't wonder 'what the weather would be like in De Laars.' On This is Italy she writes enthusiastically about her own experiences in Italy and her 'Italian Dream' that is getting closer and closer.


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