It’s starting to feel more and more like summer here in Abruzzo. As such, we decided to take advantage of the sun and head to the coast on Saturday, which is only 12 km from Lanciano.
Our first stop was the Abbey of San Giovanni in Venere. Where the abbey now stands, was once a temple to the goddess Venus (Venere in Italian). It is believed that the temple was demolished in the 6th century when construction on the abbey began. The church itself is austere yet impressive, and you can find a quiet garden and cloisters on the north side.
Our next destination was Trabocco Punta Tufano. When we got to the trabocco, the owner spoke to us about the history of the coast and these amazing fishing machines. Trabocchi date back to the 1700s and are complex structures made of pine logs, designed to allow fishermen to catch fish even in rough seas. A large net is suspended from the antennae of the trabocco. The fishermen would lower the antennae to drop the empty net into the water. When the timing was right, they would then raise it filled with their catch. These days, the trabocchi are no longer used for fishing, but have been restored because of their historical importance. Some have been converted into restaurants, and we were treated to cheeses, bruschetta, and pasta pomodoro.
After lunch, we spent the rest of the afternoon in San Vito – a fun little beach town not far from Lanciano. And while the water is still cold, many of our braver students went swimming!