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Pescara is the capital city of the Province of Pescara, in the Abruzzo region of Italymarker. As of January 1, 2007 it was the most populated city within Abruzzo at 123,059 residents, 500,000 with the surrounding metropolitan area. Located on the Adriaticmarker coast at the mouth of the Aterno-Pescara river, the present-day municipality was formed in 1926 joining the municiplaties of Pescara, the part of the city to the south of the river (then in the province of Chieti), and Castellamare Adriatico, the part of the city to the north of the river (then in the province of Teramo). The surrounding area was formed into the province of Pescara. The poet Gabriele D'Annunzio, a native of Pescara, was a major sponsor for the creation of the new city.

The main commercial street of the city is Corso Umberto I, which runs from Piazza della Repubblica and reaches the seacoast at Piazza Primo Maggio. The rectangle that it forms with Corso Vittorio Emanuele II and Via Nicola Fabrizi encloses the main shopping district, where several of the best fashion shops are located. Corso Manthonè, the course of the old Pescara has, for many years, been the center of the nightlife of the city. City hall and the administration of the province are in Piazza Italia, near the river, and in the area between here and the faculties of Economics, Architecture, Foreign Languages and Literature of Gabriele d'Annunzio University to the south, a business district has grown up over the years. To the immediate south of the mouth of the river is the marina.


Pescara is situated at sea level on the Adriatic coast and has developed from around 1600 BC onwards at the strategic position around the mouth of the Aterno-Pescara river. The coast is low and sandy and the beach extends, unbroken for some distance to both the north and the south of the river, reaching a width of approximately 140m in the area around Pineta to the north. To the south the pine forest that once gave shade to bathers along much of the Adriatic coast, has almost disappeared near the beach, but remains within the Pineta Dannunziana Provincial Nature Reserve.

The urban fabric of the city spreads over a flat T-shaped area, which occupies the valley around the river and the coastal strip. To the northwest and the southwest, the city is also expanding into the surrounding hills which were first occupied in the neolithic period.

The whole city is affected by the presence of groundwater, the level of which varies by up to a meter, being at its highest in spring due to snow melting in the mountains inland.


Pescara has a Mediterranean climate typical of Adriatic Seamarker, with dry, hot summers, rainy winters and high humidity all year round. The average temperature is around 7 °C in the coldest month (January) and 24.5 °C in the warmest month (July). The lowest temperature recorded in the city was -13 °C on January 4, 1979. The highest was registered on August 30, 2007 at 45 °C. Precipitation is low (around 676 mm per annum) and concentrated mainly in the late autumn.

Pescara is a coastal city but its climate is influenced by the surrounding mountains (the Maiellamarker and the chain of Gran Sassomarker). When the wind is southwesterly, Pescara experiences a Foehn wind that often reaches 100 km/h, causing a sudden increase in temperature and decrease in relative humidity, and for that reason winters with temperatures that exceed 20 °C almost daily are not unknown. Under northeasterly winds Pescara suffers precipitation which is generally weak, but can be much more intense if accompanied by a depression. Also from the north east comes winter weather from Siberia that, on average, brings abundant snowfalls every 3–4 years. In summer the weather is mostly stable and sunny with temperatures that, thanks to the sea breeze, rarely exceed 35 degrees unless a southwesterly Libeccio is blowing. Particularly in summer, but also in winter, the high humidity leads to morning and evening mist or haze.


Pescara's origins precede the Roman conquest. The name of both the ancient city and the river was Aternum: it was connected to Rome through the Via Claudia Valeria and the Via Tiburtina. The main building was the temple of Jovis Aternium. The city was an important port for trade with the Eastern provinces of the Empire.

In the Middle Ages it was destroyed by the Lombards (597). Saint Cetteus, the city's patron saint, was a bishop of the 6th century, elected to the see of Amiternummarker in Sabina (today the city of San Vittorinomarker) in 590, during the pontificate of Gregory the Great. His legend goes that he was executed by the Lombards at Amiternum by being thrown off a bridge with a stone tied around his neck; his body floated to Pescara.

In 1095 Pescara was a rich city with an important series of monuments and churches. In 1140 Roger of Sicily conquered the city, giving rise to a period in which it was destroyed by armies ravaging the Kingdom of Sicily. The name of Piscaria ("abounding with fish") is mentioned for the first time in this period. Several seignors ruled over Pescara afterwards, including Rainaldo Orsini, Louis of Savoy and Francesco del Borgo, the vicar of king Ladislas, who had the fortress and the tower built.
The Sacro Cuore (Sacred Heart) Church in Pescara.

The subsequent rulers were the D'Avalos. In 1424 the famous condottiero Muzio Attendolo died here. Another adventurer, Jacopo Caldora, conquered the city in 1435 and 1439. In the following years Pescara was repeatedly attacked by the Venetians, and later, as part of the Spanish Kingdom of Naples, it was turned into a massive fortress.

In 1566 it was besieged by 105 Turk galleys. It resisted fiercely and the Ottomans only managed to ravage the surrounding territory.

At the beginning of the 18th century Pescara had some 3,000 inhabitants, half of them living in the Castellammare. In 1707 it was attacked by Austrianmarker troops under the command of the duke of Wallis: the city, led by Giovanni Girolamo II Acquaviva, resisted for two months before capitulating.

Pescara was always part of the Kingdom of Naples, apart from the brief age of the Republic of Naples of 1798–1799. The city was therefore attacked by the pro-Bourbon Giuseppe Pronio. In 1800 Pescara fell to French troops, becoming an important military stronghold of Joseph Bonaparte's reign. Castellammare, which now had 3,000 inhabitants of its own, became a separate municipality.

In 1814, Pescara's Carboneria revolted against Joachim Murat. There, on May 15, 1815, the king undersigned one of the first constitutions of the Italian Risorgimento. In the following years Pescara became a symbol of the Bourbon's violent restoration as it housed one of the most notorious Bourbon jails. After a devastating flood in 1853, Pescara was liberated by Giuseppe Garibaldi's collaborator Clemente De Caesaris in 1860. Seven years later the fortress was dismantled.

In the following years, Pescara was merged with the adjacent town of Castellammare degli Abruzzi and eventually became the largest city of its region. The new city received a hard blow during World War II and has since been massively rebuilt, becoming one of the "newest" cities in Italy.

Gabriele d'Annunzio's house was refurbished in the 1930s, and is now open to the public.
Seaside of Pescara.

Main sights

Gabriele D'Annunzio's House in the Porta Nuova Section of Pescara.
The harbour of Pescara.

The ancient center, built within the Spanish walls, holds Gabriele D'Annunzio's House, where the famous Italian poet was born. The Palazzo del Governo hosts the provincial library, with 600,000 volumes. Noteworthy is the Cathedral of St. Cetteus, with a 17th century painting of St. Francis attributed to Guercino. The Madonna dei Sette Dolori ("Madonna of Seven Pains") is from 1757 and has a Neoclassical facade.

Pescara also houses the Museo delle Genti d'Abruzzo, located at Via delle Caserme 22. The Museum, which is among the most impressive in the region, collects in the numerous rooms all aspects of the life, traditions, and economy of the Abruzzo Region.

Economy and culture

Pescara is the major city of its Abruzzo region, and is one of the most important economic, commercial, and tourist centers on the Adriaticmarker coast. Featuring a shoreline that extends for more than 20 kilometers, Pescara is a popular seaside resort on the Adriatic Coast during summer. Situated in the sea at a short distance from the waterline there are many breakwaters made with large rocks, that were placed to preserve the shore from water-flood erosion. Along its shoreline, Pescara has many lidos that during summer season install beach umbrellas on the shore in order to rent them to customers in conjunction with deckchairs and other facilities; in Italian, they are also called stabilimenti balneari. These lidos often have attached seafood restaurants (opened all the year), or pizzerie, both "al piatto" and "al taglio", playgrounds, bar and ice-cream parlours, while during summer season at night some turn themselves into stylish outdoor discos. There is a large shopping district with many fashion boutiques and a lively nightlife. Its university is named for Gabriele D'Annunzio ( Università D'Annunzio). Between Pescara and nearby Chieti lies a major industrial district.

Between 1924 and 1961, Pescara hosted the Coppa Acerbo automobile race.

Every July Pescara holds an International Jazz Festival: Pescara Jazz was the first Italian summer festival dedicated to jazz music. Since 1969, it has been one of the most important jazz festivals in Europe, as reported by the main dedicated international magazines.

Pescara was the birthplace of Gabriele D'Annunzio and Ennio Flaiano. Vittoria Colonna was the marchioness of Pescara.

Pescara has been set to host the XVI Mediterranean Games in 2009, having defeated Rijekamarker, Croatiamarker and Patrasmarker, Greecemarker for the privilege.


The city is crossed by two pan-European roads, A14 Bologna - Taranto and A25 Torano - Pescara.

Pescara has an airportmarker (Aeroporto di Pescara, also known as Abruzzo International Airportmarker), three train stations (Pescara Centrale, Pescara Porta Nuova, Pescara San Marco), and several bus lines (operated by GTM, Gestioni Trasporti Metropolitani). Pescara Centrale train station is the largest in Abruzzo, and one of the largest in the whole Europe. There is a direct bus line to Roma Tiburtina (Romemarker) via Pescara Centrale (about a two and a half hour ride). In the summer there are ferries and hydrofoils to Croatiamarker run primarily by Jadrolinija and SNAV to Splitmarker and islands in central Dalmatia.

People born in Pescara

International relations

Sister cities

Pescara is twinned with:


External links

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