City of Pescara: Culture and Gastronomy

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Pescara is a city in Abruzzo, also known as “the City of D’Annunzio,” located on the Adriatic coast, about 212 kilometers (132 miles) east of Rome, just a few meters above sea level, and it is bathed by the Pescara River.

It is the capital of the province of Pescara and has a population of approximately 120,000 inhabitants.

Pescara is a city rich in history and culture and offers numerous activities both in summer, thanks to its long sandy beaches and mild climate, and in winter, with concerts, theatrical performances, and festivals.

In the historic center, visitors can explore numerous monuments such as the Cathedral of San Cetteo, built in 1949, partly influenced by the poet Gabriele D’Annunzio, who was born in the city.

The remains of his mother are still resting inside the building.

However, the true heart of the historic center is represented by Piazza della Rinascita, also known as Piazza Salotto, which has always been the focal point of city life and its main events

The city also hosts several museums, including the Museum of Abruzzo People, the Vittoria Colonna Museum of Modern Art, and the Sea Museum, which recounts the crucial role the sea played in the development of this area.

Among the main modern symbolic monuments, the Nave di Cascella stands out. Commissioned by the city council to the artist Pietro Cascella, it is a sculpture made of travertine marble and was inaugurated in July 1987.

Its shape resembles a rowing boat, a tribute to the close relationship with the sea that has always characterized the city of Pescara, as well as the Pescara prisoners of the Borbonic Penal Colony who were forced to row ships until 1860.

The Ponte del Mare, the largest cycle-pedestrian bridge in Italy, with its sinuous shape, was designed by the Tyrolean architect Pichler and connects the two banks of Pescara, characterized by the presence of the Trabocchi.

Regarding the gastronomic traditions of Pescara, visitors can savor the brodetto di pesce alla pescarese, the best-known dish from a rich maritime tradition. 

Unlike the variations found in other Adriatic coastal cities, it includes locally caught fish such as red mullet, scampi, cuttlefish, octopus, squid, prawns, eels, and perch. 

The strong taste comes from dried peppers, which are sautéed in oil before cooking the various types of fish, or alternatively, removed from the pan to be ground in a mortar with water and red wine vinegar. 

The brodetto is served with toasted bread crostini and a sprinkling of chopped parsley.

The arrosticini, believed to have originated in the Pescara area, is one of the iconic dishes of the region, consisting of grilled skewers of lamb.

The parrozzo is another well-known sweet treat from Pescara.

 It was created almost a century ago by the creativity of the pastry chef Luigi D’Amico, who in his laboratory in the city center was inspired by the peasant’s rustic bread for its shape. 

The semispherical cake is made from eggs, dark chocolate, semolina, orange zest, sweet and bitter
almonds, and it was sent to the poet Gabriele D’Annunzio, who gave it the name that made it famous.

Pescara is also a beloved city because it is the birthplace of one of the most famous figures of Italian decadentism, Gabriele D’Annunzio, born in 1863, who became a prominent figure not only for his artistic production but also for his political and military engagement. 

His home on Corso Manthonè and the pinewood dedicated to him can still be visited today, providing an ideal green area for walks or picnics.

Pescara’s climate is typically Mediterranean

During summer (June-August), the average maximum temperatures are around 30-35°C (86-95°F), while in winter (December-February), the average minimum temperatures range from 1-5°C (34-41°F).

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