Pineto is a small, soft sandy seaside town set on Teramo’s coastline. Part of Abruzzo’s ‘Sette Sorelle’ (7 Sisters), with its acclaimed Blue Flag status, and all the usual sun loungers, fish restaurants and amusements, Pineto has all that one expects from any seaside town on Italy’s Adriatic Coast. However, where Pineto leaps out from what could on paper appear just another sunny seaside town is its aged Pine Trees. A tree-lined route from the old hillside village of Mutigano leads you to Pineto’s forest besides the beach, ensuring whatever the season a decidedly fresh & fragrant salty walk in the shade can be had.
The history of these lofty trees stem from C19th farmer and local landowner, Signor Luigi Filani. Unlike the local mayor who wanted to build hotels and shops in the area the tenacious Sig. Filani was of the belief that it was trees that should be the making of the area rather than buildings. Remember at this time visiting the sea was purely a ‘restorative’ experience, NOT for sun-baking…oops! sorry bathing. Sig. Filani got his way and over 25 years planted over 2000 Pinus Pinaea, as well as groves of Oak and Laurel. It’s lovely to know that today these provide a restorative to the land itself as well as to the individuals that visit.
Tower & Needles
Unlike so many Abruzzo towns, there are no fine old medieval houses etc here; Pineto was built at the turn of the C20th, but do go, park up in one of the free car parks and walk along the sweep of the beach from the fishermen huts down to the C16th Tower of Cerrano approximately a 2km walk.
Catch of the Day
For those with an eye for photography, take your camera and see the small, family-run sustainable fishing boats come back to shore and clean their catch as the gulls swoop & haggle with each other over the easy dinner of thrown innards. If you are lucky you could offer to buy the catch of the day to take home and cook if you are renting somewhere for a holiday.
Walk in and out the lofty, pine forest and breathe in the intoxicating mixture of sea, salt and pine whilst listening to the break of the waves and the air whistle through the branches. With only joggers and dog walkers for company outside the summer, walk along and imagine the soldiers of Neapolitan King Charles V stretching out from life in the tower. They patrolled the area from invasion from the Turks and what is now Croatia, just 100 km across the Adriatic. You can’t access the Tower sadly, today it is one of Italy’s important sea labs, providing another form of protection, now ecological, specialising in sea sponges, but you’ll still be able to take some great pictures.
For those that prefer to bicycle – Pineto is where the Adriatic’s bicycle path the ‘Corridoio Verde Adriatico’, does actually manifest into its name, you will ever so briefly feel that you are riding in a green-framed corridor along the beach.
By car, A14 Atri/Pineto junction, by train Milano-Bari line, station -Scerne di Pineto, local ARPA buses.