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Trabocco Valle Grotte (San Vito)

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The "Trabocco", which for centuries has been a livelihood for many generations of fishermen, today has become an icon of our region and in particular a symbol of the southern central coast of Abruzzo which has been called "Costa dei Trabocchi".

From an efficient and prosperous "fishing machine", over time it has become an architectural element able to enhance the aesthetic and landscape aspect of the territory in which it is "anchored". In fact, climate, environmental, morphological and socio-economic changes have led to a change in the typical destination of the trabocco itself. Starting with the analysis of the historical origins of this structure, we must immediately make it clear that no one can determine exactly when the traps were designed and built for the first time. We can only assume that man has invented them to avoid facing the open sea for fishing in order to reduce the risk of bad weather. One of the first and oldest written documents that provides information on the presence of trabocchi in our area dates back to 1400 AD.

It is a religious work that tells of the life of Pietro da Morrone, a hermit friar who lived in the monastery of San Giovanni in Venere in Fossacesia around 1240 and later became the famous Pope Celestine V. In this document we read:"...more than the calm sea, which shone under the late morning sun, dotted with overhangs placed as lookouts towards the edge of the sky, struck me the great Abbey. It was the best thing I'd ever seen.”. From this document it can be deduced, therefore, that in 1240 the trabocchi already existed on the Abruzzo coast. This gives an idea of the antiquity and the historical, artistic and cultural importance that "fishing scales" currently have.

The techniques used to build the "fishing machines" are the result of a constructive wisdom never written, handed down with words and practice, from the ancient overflowing. The trabocchi are real "architectures without architects" because their construction can hardly be translated into calculations and returned in drawings but it happens on the basis of what is "dictated" by the professionals of the trade.

(Taken from the thesis "VALORIZATION AND ECONOMIC USE OF TERRITORIAL PRICESISTENCES: AN APPLICATIVE CASE ON THE TEATINA COAST" by Dr. Fabio Caravaggio)

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