If you are on a summer vacation in Abruzzo and thinking about where to go to eat sustainably caught fresh fish & seafood in a die for location, head to a Trabocco between Francavilla & Vasto on what is called ‘Costa dei Trabocchi’.
Historic Fishing Platforms for the Seasick Re-Worked into Abruzzo’s Location Location Fish Restaurants
A Trabocco resembles a man-made giant beached prawn sitting on the rocks with giant tendrils casting wide nets out into the deeper reaches of the sea, and for those that like sketching or photography, their spiny skeletons are great subject matters.
In the past, their sole function was to act as fishing machines for the seasick for those that prefer rocks to waves. Fashioned from the salvaged acacia trees and whatever other pieces which the tide and storms wash in, no two stilted trabocchi ever look the same. Most are over 120 years old in origin although of course not each part on a trabocco will be that old, each aged piece of salvaged wood has its own internal best before date. Beyond being Abruzzo’s best fish restaurants they are a place to reflect on how the Abruzzesi that built them 200 years ago were simply trying to lessen a loss at sea which could bring about hunger to an entire generation.
Many families have turned their trabocco into timeless restaurant locations, allowing their visitors to spend time on the beach before they head for the traditional 10-course lunch or dinner, with unlimited wine and cooled by a sea breeze.
Do try the local fish, avoid the tourist fried & battered and instead try the particularly good local Fish Soup/Stew – Brodetto di Pesce all Vastese – it’s a mixture of assorted fishes, tomatoes, garlic olive oil and a touch of peperoncino – delicious!
Official Website of Cala Lenta, the local Trabocchi festival sponsored by the Slow Food Movement- 1st Weekend of July, during this you can eat on the Trabocchi too and that tradition almost carries right through to mid-August.