Visiting Pescara and looking for things to see and do in the city? We have compiled a list for you!
Abruzzo’s commercial capital and most populated city, Pescara retains a chilled vibe of a seaside location. Despite being officially established in 1927, Pescara traces its roots back to the Roman Empire. The present city, that was almost razed to the ground during the World War II, was born from the merger of two different towns divided by the river: the old Pescara and Castellamare Adriatico.
The city of 120,000 residents (350,000 including the metropolitan area), Pescara welcomes many Italian and international tourists in July and August who enjoy the lively beaches and nightlife. The city has a lot to offer with many places to visit and things to see all year round.
This list is constantly updated and revised to give you the most up to date information about what to do in Pescara.
Walk on the Ponte del Mare bridge
One of the most beautiful things to see in Pescara is the Ponte del Mare bridge. Built in 2009, it is one of the newest additions to the city’s architectural landscape that quickly became one of the most popular and photographed spots.
466 meters long, it is a cycle-pedestrian, cable-stayed bridge that connects the southern coast with the northern one over the Pescara River estuary. It is part of the Ciclovia Adriatica, the cycle path that runs from Emilia-Romagna to Puglia regions, the longest in Italy.
From the bridge you can have a glimpse of Porto Turistico, the largest touristic seaport of the region, which is considered amongst the most beautiful on the entire Adriatic coast.
Where: Enter “Ponte del Mare” in your Google Maps navigator.
See the trabocchi
Silent guardians of the sea, the trabocchi are traditional wooden stilt structures once used for fishing. Abruzzo’s coast is dotted with these peculiar-looking sea-platforms, especially in the area of San Vito Chietino and further south, known as Costa dei Trabocchi. Most of them house seafood restaurants popular with tourists and locals alike in summer months. Unknown to many, Pescara also has trabocchi, eight of them, located at the north pier of the seaport. A project is being discussed at the moment to bring the waterline back, closer to the city’s trabocchi, as they are sitting on the shore at the moment. While you can’t visit the little huts, it is a beautiful spot for a walk and taking photos.
Where: Lungomare Colombo, below the Ponte del Mare bridge. Enter “Pescara i trabocchi” in your Google Maps navigator.
Join Pescara food tours
One of the best things to do in Pescara is, of course, eating! To explore Abruzzo’s culinary traditions join one of Abruzzo With Gusto’s Pescara Food Tours, number one tour in the city on TripAdvisor. You will taste local cheeses, cured meats, baked goodies, learn what locals ate for breakfast in the past (no, they didn’t eat cornetti!) while visiting Pescara’s historical family-run shops.
For more information see Abruzzo With Gusto’s website.
Visit a fine arts museum
Opened in September 2021, Museo dell’Ottocento is located in an elegant palazzo. It is home to 260 works of art from the private collection of Venceslao Di Persio and Rosanna Pallotta set up on three floors, through 15 exhibition halls organized by themes and schools. There is also an excellent library with over three thousand volumes on the visual arts of the 19th century. Tickets €10.
Where: Viale Gabriele D’Annunzio, 128.
Learn about Abruzzo’s history and traditions
Museo delle genti d’Abruzzo is one of the most interesting museums in the region. Founded in 1973 on the site of a 17th century fortress (you can still see its wall fragment outside), it has a fascinating collection of artifacts found in the area in the late 1960s, as well as historical documents and objects illustrating the agro-pastoral traditions of Abruzzo. The museum has an ethnographic documentation center with a library and a historical and modern photographic archive. Tickets cost €12 per person. For opening hours see the website.
Where: Via delle Caserme, 24.
Play with the Big Piano fountain
The main square of Pescara, Piazza della Rinascita, affectionately known locally as Piazza Salotto, has recently welcomed a new attraction: the Big Piano, an interactive fountain. Designed by Remo Saraceni, a renowned artist, engineer, and lighting designer born in Abruzzo and living in the US. He is best known for inventing the Walking Piano (Big Piano) that became famous after the movie Big, starring Tom Hanks came out in 1988. The Big Piano is just one of Remo’s many interactive creations that connect the imagination of childhood with technology.
The circular base of the fountain (9 meters in diameter) has piano keys that can be played by stepping on them. Hoping from one key to another, you can compose your tunes and change the fountain colours. It attracts both children and adults, so don’t be shy, hop away and have fun!
Where: Piazza della Rinascita
Stroll along the sea
One of the best things to do in Pescara is to take long walk along its beautiful riviera stretching for about 10 kilometres. Walk or bike on the dedicated path or along the wide sandy beaches. Linger by the water to admire the peaks of the Gran Sasso mountains on the horizon, stop to get a gelato or a glass of wine in one of the seaside bars (most of them are open during the summer season only). Pescara residents love their riviera and go there for an evening jog, bike ride, to walk their dogs or meet friends, so if you want to mingle with locals head there after 6pm or on a Sunday morning.
Chill out in the shade of pine trees
Pineta Dannnunziana, or Pineta d’Avalos, is a magnificent nature reserve which extends over 53 hectares, with only 35 hectares remaining from the ancient pine forest that before the 19th century covered the Adriatic coastline from Francavilla al Mare to the southern part of the Marche region. Only a short stroll from the sea, right in the heart of the city, this beautiful oasis provides an escape from the hustle and bustle of the streets. The reserve has children’s playgrounds, benches, walking paths, and a beautiful pond. Beware of the cheeky ducks always asking for treats!
Where: Viale della Pineta. Enter “Pineta Dannunziana” in your Google Maps navigator.
By Alessandra Palmitesta