Pescara travel guide

Pescara Cathedral

Pescara is the largest city in the region of Abruzzo and a major transportation hub. It is also the capital of the province of the same name. Except during the summer months, when the 16 km long sandy beach is occupied with tourists, it is a rather unsightly city by Italian standards.

Pescara top 10 Tourist attractions

Like many other Italian coastal towns, Pescara is not a particularly attractive city at first glance, especially if you arrive by train, mainly because it is much more modern than most of the country’s well-known cities and does not really have a historic center. Nevertheless, even here there are tourist attractions worth visiting.

01. Viale della Riviera and Beach

The Viale della Riviera is a 15-kilometer-long street along the coast, great for a long walk along the city’s white beaches. The beaches are the main attraction of the city.

02. Corso Monthonè

The Corso Monthonè is the main street in Pescara’s historic center.

03. Modern Art Museum “Vittorio Colonna”

The Vittorio Colonna Modern Art Museum mainly features non-permanent exhibitions.

04. Museum of the People of Abruzzo

The Delle Genti d’Abruzzo Museum (“Of the People of Abruzzo Museum”) deals with folk art and crafts in the region itself.

05. Sacro Cuore Church

The Chiesa del Sacro Cuore is a neo-Gothic church from the late 19th century.

06. San Silvesto neighborhood

In the San Silvestro district are the San Silvestro Church (with a 17th-century mural) and the Palazzo Fattiboni, dating from the same century, built on an old fortress.

07. Gabriele d’Annunzio Birthplace

Of particular historical interest is the birthplace of Gabriele D’Annunzio, an Italian poet of the early 20th century, who had much influence on Mussolini’s thinking. D’Annunzio was also a World War I hero.

08. Pescara Cathedral

The San Cetteo Cathedral was built in part because D’Annunzio wanted it and his mother is also buried there. It was built between 1933 and 1938 and contains a painting by Guercino donated by D’Annunzio.

09. Pineta D’Annunziana

The Pineta Dannunziana is a protected natural park to the south of Pescara.

10. Museum of the Sea

The Museo del Mare (“Museum of the Sea”) features many species of sea turtles, plus skeletons of some large marine fish.

More Pescara sights

The 16th century Madonna dei Sette Dolori Sanctuary and the Palazzo del Governo survived World War II.

The Sant’Andrea Apostolo Church on the other hand required a reconstruction.

The Bourbon Bath is what is left of the fortress of the city. For a while, it was used as a prison.

Events and festivals

The annual Pescara Jazz Festival takes place in July.

A brief history of Pescara

At the site where present day Pescara was founded, there used to be a busy port called Aternum. It is not known which people had founded this city.

After the fall of the Roman empire, the population dwindled to no more than a small number of fishermen. This village came to be called Piscaria.

Later, both Ruggero II and Federico II improved its infrastructure. In 1510, Charles V turned Pescara into a military fortress, which led to an increased importance and a population growth. The situation improved even further under the D’Avalos.

In 1927, Pescara became a provincial capital, after merging with Castellammare Adriatico. Pescar itself till then had been part of the province of Chieti, Castellamare of the province of Teramo.

During World War II, bombardments devastated much of the architectural patrimony of the historical center.

Between 1950 and 1970 Pescara experienced a period of rapid economic growth.

Useful information

Tourist information: Corso Vittorio Emanuele II, 301 – 65100 Pescara (tel. +39 085 429001). Town hall: Piazza Italia (tel. +39 08542831).

Planes, trains and coaches

Pescara’s modern central station is an important hub, as the trains from Rome and those traveling along the Adriatic coast intersect here.

Pescara Airport (tel. 899130310) is located about 3 kilometers outside the city and is used by RyanAir, among others. There is a direct bus connection to the Corso Vittorio Emanuele II in front of the central station.

The interurban buses have their base in the Piazzale della Repubblica. There are buses to L’Aquila and Sulmona, as well as to more distant destinations such as Naples and Rome (Stazione Tiburtina).

How to get to Pescara by car

The A14 along the coast runs parallel to the SS16. Both roads call at Pescara but on the slower SS16 there is no toll to pay. From Rome you can take either the A25 or the SS5 (toll-free).