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Abruzzo and the Via Verde Costa dei Trabocchi - What to see

In Abruzzo on the Via Verde dei Trabocchi

Awaiting us are crystal clear seas, landscapes and extraordinary artifacts that defy gravity and leave you breathless.

42 km route, 9 municipalities and 16 overflows a former railway route built around 1860 and decommissioned in 2005,

These are the key features of the Adriatic Cycle Route Via Verde dei Trabocchi, which is already establishing itself as one of the most interesting Italian and international cycle routes.

For at least 10 years I have been hearing about the construction of the Adriatic Ciclovia, which stretches an astonishing 1796 km. from Friuli Venezia Giulia to Trieste through, Emilia Romagna, Marche, Abruzzo, Molise and Puglia to Leuca.

Of this extraordinary Ciclovia the section that has always caught my attention and struck my imagination is the section that in Abruzzo is better known as Via Verde Costa dei Trabocchi.

Where the Via Verde dei Trabocchi begins

Two people wearing bicycle helmets
With Susanna at the beginning of the Via Verde Costa dei Trabocchi at the Port of Ortona

Starting from the Port of Ortona, on the main road you will find an abundance of parking lots where you can leave your vehicle in favor of the more environmentally friendly bicycle or handbike.

I arrived in the morning with my wife and we set off quietly by taking the junction of the bike path that is in front of the Lido Saraceni bathing establishment.

The climb is quite steep, and the trail surface is still rough concrete because work is still in progress.

On this hike I didn't make it all the way to the end of the trail, as I did last year when with my friend Bruno we made it all the way to Lido di Casalbordino, but we only made it as far as Punta Cavalluccio. Round trip about 30 kilometers, a family hike.

There were many people on bicycles and on foot, of all ages and with a typological landscape of bicycles that I would call broad and comprehensive.

Compared to the previous year, I saw a marked increase in bicycle service and rental points, very scenic, some even accessible, refreshment spots, and the appearance of some signs indicating the presence of B&Bs on the route.

Too bad that, due to time constraints, we were not able to have lunch on a Trabocco 🙁

A restorative stop

Two people sitting outside a bar.
Spritz time! 🙂

We had no definite plan other than to enjoy the view that the sea could offer and to take a few hours to relax.

Biking in August under the sun is still a challenging activity, especially with this year's heatwave. As relaxing as a handbike ride can be, some time must be set aside for refreshment and energy recovery.

We chose to do so by stopping at Masino's where the bay of Punta Cavalluccio offers the opportunity to contemplate a panorama filled with beauty.

We refreshed and refreshed ourselves by sipping an excellent Spritz and when we smelled the scents coming from the kitchen, we also added a mixed fry (it was now late noon) as a "kind of comfort" 🙂 .

Masino also has a fairly large but not perfect bathroom for everyone.

You can also take this as a starting point for your hike-Masino has ample parking and a station where you can rent bicycles, trolleys for children, and even e-bikes with pedal assist. Be careful, however, to arrive early in the morning; around lunchtime the parking lot was already full and many people had to turn back.

Where to bathe

Sandy beach with skate and some umbrellas
The beach at the Cavallino bathing establishment

As you will also notice from the photographs, the coastline is rocky and access to the beaches is adventurous to say the least. During our excursion, however, we discovered a fairly easy access, through an underpass connected with the track leading to Il Cavalluccio Establishment.

It has one of the very rare stretches of sandy beach and is equipped with a concrete slide to reach it that perhaps would be better called a ramp but that in those places, allows with much help for those who move in a wheelchair like me, to reach the beach and take a swim in a sea with crystal clear and very clean water.

There is also a ramp connecting the restaurant which to call scenic is an understatement!

Via Verde dei Trabocchi - An evolving bike path

Although not yet finished and officially inaugurated, the Via Verde dei Trabocchi is emerging as one of the most interesting Italian and international cycle routes.

On my last hike the work was still in progress, the initial part of the trail in Ortona is still rough concrete, later I found asphalt and then asphalt painted green with road markings.

A series of concrete constructions are still in the rough, which will surely be intended to provide services to support biker travelers, but their future use is unclear at present.

Let's just hope they remember to implement accessible services and timely signage to help tourists find the services but also to understand the place they are passing through and what attractions to pay attention to, all of course with an eye to accessibility for all!

As I mentioned above, this is not the first time I have traveled the Via Verde dei Trabocchi; last year with my friend Bruno, we started from Fossa Cesia because the tunnels were still being restored and were closed to traffic, and during our hike we also met another handbiker from Lombardy who was on vacation in the area and was experiencing, as we were, the route.

We made it as far as Lido di Casalbordino, stopping only when the bike path led onto the state highway. The section of the state highway was busy and too dangerous to continue on a handbike. We rode, round trip, about 80 km, including the small excursions we made to visit the towns and areas we passed through.

To stay up-to-date on the development of the track, follow the official website at this link

What is trebuchet

Trabucco, Trabocco, Bilancia or Travocco, these are some variants of the name that on the Abruzzo coast have these "fishing machines" whose construction is credited even to the Phoenicians. They represent a monumental and identity heritage for the Abruzzi coast, both for the complexity of their construction and for the stories of the families who made them.

There are as many as 16 trabocchi you will encounter on the trail and they are one different from the other, some still fulfilling their role as "fishing machines," albeit in a recreational and no longer professional form, while others have been transformed into typical restaurants and are able to charm any person passing by on this track where they are a powerful tourist attraction. Not all of them, of course, are accessible.

It is to be hoped that work will be done to ensure accessibility to the trabocchi, at least the ones that are most easily accessible, and that careful attention will be paid to the accessibility of all the services that support the cyclovia. Not just the classic "disabled toilets to standards," but what is needed so that everyone, but really everyone, can enjoy such exciting experiences.

Route info

  • Length 42 km (84 round trip)
  • Suitable for everyone: families, experts, children
  • Handbike with or without pedal assist
  • Electric wheel or other traction systems
  • Electric wheelchair
  • Bicycle
  • Pedal assisted bicycle

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