ABRUZZO’S 500 YEAR OLD FISHING TRADITION
The region of Abruzzo, in southern Italy, which is only about two hours from Rome, is considered the greenest region in Europe as it is largely made up of parks and nature reserves. Wine connoisseurs in particular have certainly heard the name, as one of Italy’s most famous wines, Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, is produced here. The region’s landscape particularly captivates with its picturesque villages and communities scattered on hills with their cobbled streets, the historic old towns and their monuments, the palazzi, and the port cities with their long beaches. However, the Abruzzo coast stands out for something very special, the tradition of trabocchi fishing. This fishing method, which has been practiced successfully for more than 500 years, is a unique type of fishing that has not only shaped the coast of the central Adriatic, but has also kept large parts of the population alive.
The Costa dei Trabocchi is an approximately 70 km long stretch of coast with numerous bays and reefs, which owes its name to precisely this type of fishing. The territory extends over the municipalities of Francavilla al Mare, Ortona, San Vito Chetino, Rocca San Giovanni, Fossacesia, Torino di Sangro, Casalbordino, Vasto and San Salvo. The strange-looking structures, the trabucco (also called trabocco, in the plural trabucchi or trabocchi), are without a doubt among the most famous and picturesque sights in the region. Geographically characterized by the rugged mountains, only limited agriculture has always been possible. Therefore, the population was heavily dependent on fishing in the coastal region.
Geographically characterized by the rugged mountains, only limited agriculture has always been possible. Therefore, the population was heavily dependent on fishing in the coastal region. Trabocchi fishing became an important part of Abruzzo’s culture and identity and played an important role in the local economy. This isolation had an impact on the food culture of Abruzzo. The result is a cuisine that is based both on the pastoral principles of the mountainous regions and on the maritime principles of the coastal areas and has thus established itself as a culinary insider tip. The purpose of these complex stilt houses was to smoothly lower a large rectangular net horizontally, and after a period of time raise it again with a full catch. The larger the net, the greater the chance of catching fish.
Read the full article in Issue 25