Vasto is a lovely hilltop town overlooking the Adriatic sea in southern Abruzzo. It has a lovely medieval centre and many beautiful buildings dating from the 15th century.
The first thing you will appreciate on arriving in Vasto are the beautiful panoramic views over the Adriatic sea, over the lovely golden beaches and towards the Punta della Penne harbour and lighthouse.
Above the sea, on a hillside, Vasto has a charming medieval old centre whose centre is the marvellous Piazza Rossetti with the impressive Caldoresco Castle. The original parts of the castle date back to the 14th and 15th centuries.
The Palazzo d'Avalos is another key sight. You can visit the palace as it is now home to the Museo Civico Archaeologica. Be sure to also visit its pretty Neapolitan-style garden. Not far away is the Cattedrale di San Giuseppe which has a simple Romanesque facade. The rest is newer as it was rebuilt following destruction during a Turkish raid in the 16th century.
Wandering through the narrow alleyways is a pleasure (and offers some relief from the hot sun) and reveals many churches and mansions and also various Roman excavations. After exploring the old centre head for the beach. It is about a 15 to 20 minutes walk downhill from the ancient centre of Vasto and is a welcome spot to cool off in the gorgeous turquoise waters of the Adriatic Sea.
On the coast the Vasto Marina is a popular holiday destination and has lots of hotels and camp sites along the edge of the beach. This is a nice spot to enjoy lunch or to have the almost obligatory afternoon ice-cream. Whilst thronging with people in July and August the marina and beaches are fairly deserted outside of the main season.
Further along the coast is the promontory of the 'Punta d'Erca also known as the Punta Aderci, a beautiful, unspoilt area of rocky coastline popular with divers. The area is a protected nature reserve. You can see the wonderful 'trabocchi' here. These are traditional fishing platforms used for fish and prawn fishing along the coast. Outside of the main season you can enjoy the coastline and trabocchi and barely see another person.
The local fishing industry means that fish and shellfish are favorite dishes in Vasto's many restaurants along with the delicious local Pecorino cheeses made from sheep's milk.
Vasto is the birthplace of the poet Gabriele Rosetti and the painter Filippo Palizzi. Some of Palizzi's work can be viewed at the Museo Civico in Naples.
Places to Visit Nearby
A short distance to the north of Vasto is a large Aquapark - Aqualand del Vasto, a firm favorite with families and children. There is a free shuttlebush which operates between Aqualand and Vasto centre and Vasto Marina.
Another good place to see traocchi is at the popular seaside resort of Termoli.
Where is Vasto?
Vasto is a town in the Abruzzo region of Italy, on the border with Umbria. It is about halfway down the Adriatic coast of Italy. It lies between Ortona to the north and Termoli to the south.
Map of Vasto and places to visit
Places to visit near Vasto
See more places nearby in the Abruzzo guide