Torre del Cerrano Marine Protected Area
The Marine Protected Area Torre del Cerrano was established by decree of the Ministry of the Environment and Protection of the Territory and the Sea in the year 2009.
The sea bottom of this body of water is the typical Adriatic sandy one, with some bottom cliffs. In the area there are a good number of marine animal species and a small but large contingent of plant species (Adriatic gastropod, Adriatic trivia, Sabellaria halcocki). In the underwater environment of the protected area it is easy to come across various species of fish and molluscs, such as: congers, sea bass, soles and cargos, living in contact with the sandy bottoms characterized by extensive and important schools of Chamelea gallina (common clam).
The dunes of the Marine Protected Area offer the opportunity to observe many interesting species of insects such as the Scarabeus semipunctatus and the rare Lamprinodes pictus, in addition to unusual and particular bird species.
Here it nests the Kentish plover (Charadrius alexandrinus) a rare migratory bird that frequents these Area from late April to September, returning every spring for the laying of its eggs (the name in Italian for this species of bird is “Fratino”).
Among the dune vegetation you can find wonderful specimens of Sea lily (Pancratium maritimum), Gargano Mullein (Verbascum niveum subsp. garganicum), Maritime snowbell (Calystegia soldanella) and Sea spurge (Euphorbia peplis). In the southern area, close to the pine forests, there is also a dense population of the very rare Beach saffron (Romulea rollii).
The pinewood, inhabited by the Aleppo pine (Pinus halepensis) and the Pine-nut pine, is a unique environment indeed, a continuum between sea and land that creates a particularly favorable microclimate during the summer season, containing elements of high naturalistic value, too.
Underwater, just in front of the tower, there is the ancient port of the city of Hadria (Atri, nowadays), probably of Roman times. More than one researchers state it.
Cerrano Tower is one of the ancient coastal towers of the Kingdom of Naples, located on the Adriatic coast, in the province of Teramo, between the cities of Silvi and Pineto. It is part of the dense network of coastal fortifications of the Kingdom of Naples, remained intact to nowadays. These watchtowers were there in order to repel the frequent attacks from the sea by Turks and Saracens. It houses the International Veterinary Training Center as well as the Library and the Museum of the Sea.
The European Union recognizes the Marine Protected Area Torre del Cerrano as one of the Sites of Community interest, part of the Natura 2000 network. Sand banks with a weak water coverage, characteristic element of a large part of the Adriatic coast - with cliffs that stand out for Sabellaria bio-constructions (an environmental indicator) - and coastal dunes with fauna and vegetation species of primary interest: these are the environments recognized as "priority habitats" to be protected.
(foto di Debora Di Donato)