On this cold winter day I wish I was here lying down on this incredible rocky beach in Abruzzo. My mum promised to take me here next time I go visit. This is hands down one of her favorite places in Italy: Punta Aderci and its Trabocchi.
The Reserve of Punta Aderci covers an area of about 285 hectares and goes from the beach of Punta Penna, adjacent to the port of Vasto, to the mouth of the river Sinello (the border with the town of Casalbordino). In the Reserve the agricultural landscape is traditional, with large vineyards, olive trees and fields of grasses. The area of most interest consists of the natural beach of Punta Penna: an amphitheater that hosts many marine species of plant-life. The promontory of Punta Aderci (26 m asl) characterizes the whole area by providing a 360 ° view of the whole Reserve. In some cavities of Punta Aderci you can admire the Halymenia Flores, considered the most beautiful Mediterranean red seaweed. From Punta Aderci the view sweeps over the National Park of Maiella and Gran Sasso – Laga and of Sibillini.
The trabucco is an old fishing machine typical of the coast of Abruzzi region (specially in the Trabocchi Coast or Costa dei Trabocchi) and also in the coast of Gargano, where it is protected as historical monuments by the homonym National Park. Spread along the coast of southern Adriatic especially in the Italian provinces of Chieti, Campobasso, and Foggia and also in some parts of the coast of southern Tyrrhenian Sea.
A trabucco is a massive construction built from wood, which consists of a platform anchored to the rock by large logs of pine of Aleppo, jutting out into the sea, from where two (or more) long arms called antemna stretch out suspended some feet above the water and supporting a huge, narrow-meshed, net (called trabocchetto). The trabucco is built with traditional wood Aleppo pine -the typical pine of Gargano and common throughout the South-Western Adriatic- because this material is virtually limitless (for his dissemination in the area) modeled, elastic, weatherproof and resistant to salt. However since they lost their economic function in the past centuries when they were the main economical source of entire families of fishermen, trabucchi rose into the role of cultural and architectural symbols and tourist attraction.
The morphology of the Gargano coast and of Abruzzo determined the presence of two different types of trabucco: the Garganic trabucco is usually anchored to a rocky platform, longitudinally extended to the coastline, from which the antenna depart.
The variant of Abruzzo and Molise, also called bilancia, often insists on shallower coasts and therefore is characterized by the presence of a platform, transversal to the coast, which is connected by a tight bridge made of wooden boards.
According with some historians of Apulia, the trabuccco was invented in the region imported from Phoenicians. The earliest documented existence dates back to 18th century, during which Gargano fishermen, during that period sparsely populated, devised an ingenious technique of fishing which wasn’t subject to weather conditions in the area. Trabucchi were built in the most prominent promontories jutting nets out to sea through a system of monumental wooden arms: a trabucco allows to fish without having to be submitted to sea conditions using the morphology of Gargano rocky coast.
The fishing technique, quite efficacious, is “on sight”. It consists of intercepting, with wide nets, the flows of fish moving along the ravines of the coast. Trabucchi are located where the sea is deep enough (at least 6 meters), and are built on rocky peaks generally oriented southeast or north in order to exploit the favorable marine current.
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