Do you know which is the youngest and most dynamic city in Abruzzo?
Pescara, the one that has no wrinkles, is in a hurry and thinks about tomorrow, as the journalist Giorgio Manganelli wrote. Although he was not from Abruzzo, he loved the region as if he had been born there.
So, plan a stay in the city of Gabriele d’Annunzio, also known as the Vate, to discover its sparkling and changing soul, with its Blue Flag Sea, the very pleasant seaside tourism, implemented by the tourist port "Marina di Pescara" among the largest in Italy. There are also first-rate museums, making it a respectable cultural center, with "shouty" clubs and restaurants, anchored by the food and dishes of the most classic Abruzzese tradition.
You will be surprised.
It looks like a thousand years have passed since that January 1927, when the union of the two urban centres straddling the river, Castellamare Adriatico to the north and Pescara to the south, gave rise to the new provincial capital, the new Pescara.
A fixture of Gabriele d'Annunzio, the most famous of his sons, who with dozens of writings was among the main proponents of its birth.
Ninety-three years later, with a middle bombing that razed it to the ground during World War II and a hasty modernization thereafter, Pescara continues to grow and change, following by instinct its own DNA marked by birth, death, rebirth, in less than a century.
Not to mention its older history, told by archaeological finds, including a Neolithic village under Orlando Hill, dating back some 6,000 years, from the time of the Roman Empire when it was called "Ostia Aterni" and from the early Middle Ages, when, because of the fishiness of its waters, it was known by all as "Piscaria".
Your exploration can begin in the center of Pescara, the commercial part of the city, which was once a fishing village. A few steps from Piazza della Rinascita, known as Piazza Salotto, because it is the heart of "Pescara da bere," resounds the well-deserved "clap clap" (applause) to Andrea Pazienza, aka Paz: a genius of drawn literature, to whom a museum has been dedicated: it is called C.L.A.P. (Comics lab art Pescara), has been created by the Pescarabruzzo Foundation and preserves more than 200 works. Moreover, there are 150 artworks signed by artist Sandro Visca, Andrea's 13-year-old "prof," who moved to Pescara from San Severo, his hometown, to study at the Liceo Artistico Misticoni.
Among stores and boutiques with glittering windows, reach now the Imago Museum another "creature" of the Foundation: dedicated to modern and contemporary art, it is housed in the former Banco di Napoli building, among the best examples of Italian Rationalism. Two floors of wonders, where you can meet with beauty through its collections of Italian and foreign art of the 20th and 21st centuries, three permanent and one temporary.
Also visit the Mediamuseum in the area south of the Pescara River, where the "ancient" heart of the city, Pescara vecchia, now called Porta Nuova, beats.
This is the National Cinema Museum, housed since 1995 in the site of the old courthouse, near the Cathedral of San Cetteo, where d'Annunzio's mother is buried, who for this condition offered as a citizen one hundred thousand liras in four installments.
The old structure is the focus of a major recovery project, which will turn it into the Museo Officina del Cinema (Moc) Ennio Flaiano, another famous citizen of Pescara.
Don't miss, nearby, the delightful Museo dell'Ottocento created by the Di Persio-Pallotta Foundation, with 260 works of Italian and French beauty that chronicle a century of change and innovation.
Further along, on Corso Manthoné, you will find the House Museum of Gabriele d'Annunzio which, through excerpts from the Notturno shown on panels, guides tourists through the furnishings, paintings and memories of the child poet, who stayed there until he was 11 years old.
On the other side of the street is the house where Ennio Flaiano was born and which the Vate recalls in his book Le Novelle della Pescara.
In the evening, climb the Ponte del Mare, 446 metres of elevated bicycle and pedestrian path from which Pescara reveals its beauty. From the highest point, with the tie-rods of the central pylon resembling sails, you sail toward the silhouettes of the harbor, of the endless riviera that stretches to the horizon, of fishing boats, of the trabocchi, of the outlines of the Maiella and the Gran Sasso, "two mountains," Flaiano writes, "that cannot be ignored, monumental and free (...)are our basilicas, facing each other in a very successful and complementary dialogue".
And at the table wins the "imaginative" fish brodetto, with toad, scorpionfish, octopus, spiderfish, skate and bouquet.
You will be enraptured.
What else to visit:
The Ennio Flaiano Bridge
The Carrara marble fountain “La Nave” by Cascella
The great painting by Michetti “La Figlia di Iorio” (Iorio's Daughter)
The Paparella Treccia Devlet Museum
The Genti d'Abruzzo Museum
The Basilio Cascella Civic Museum