Stage 9 | 13 October 2020 | 100.7 km
Francavilla al Mare >
Francavilla al Mare
Centrally located on the Adriatic coast of Abruzzo, Francavilla al Mare is the gateway to the Maiella Park and the Parco della Costa Teatina. With its eight kilometers of coastline, it is located in the center of a landscape that sees the Maiella mountains and the Gran Sasso massif in sequence, the alternation of the hills overlooking the beach. Located 3 meters above sea level, it has a population of about 26,000 inhabitants. Francavilla is the gateway to the mountain parks and the Costa dei trabocchi.
Among the local excellences, that of Terra Amica: the market for typical products of the Francavilla area, thanks to which, within the weekly markets that take place throughout the municipal area, it is possible to buy and taste the products. Thanks to local producers Francavilla has managed to enhance two foods that characterize the locality: the strawberry and the pear tomato.
From the sea to the Civitella, the highest, oldest part of the city rich in history. Francavilla is a village of medieval origin that has preserved much of its rich history. Also in the upper town it is possible to visit the cathedral of Santa Maria Maggiore, the Michetti Museum and the Michetti Convent, inside which the Abruzzo painter gave life to the famous cenacle together with d’Annunzio, Barbella, Serao, Tosti, Scarfoglio and De Nino. The Francavilla seafront has a cycle path that runs throughout the city from north to south, in addition to the presence of several green areas located throughout the municipal area, suitable for families, children, young people and the elderly to spend days of total relaxation.
Thanks to its more than 600.000 overnight stays a year, Tortoreto can be considered the main seaside tourist destination in Abruzzo. Overlooking the Adriatic Sea, Tortoreto can be divided into 5 zones: the historical centre, the Old Town, on a hill; the seaside or Lido and three hamlets: Salino, Cavatassi and Terrabianca. The historical centre, of medieval origin, houses churches with remarkable works of art and monuments of absolute value. From the Old Town, people can enjoy a wonderful view that goes from the coast to the Gran Sasso, the highest mountain of the Appenines. The “Lido” has much to offer for an unforgettable seaside holiday. Surrounded in the greenery, it can boast an amazing cycle path, beautiful bathing structures, well equipped areas, outdoor activities restaurants and hotels ready to welcome thousands of tourists every summer. Its thriving tourist vocation is certified by a great number of “flags” every year”: the EUROPEAN BLUE FLAG awarded 23 times, 22 times consecutively. The GREEN FLAG awarded by the Italian pediatricians to the beaches which are perfectly suitable for children. The YELLOW FLAG which places Tortoreto among cycling towns FIAB. The SPIGA VERDE for its sustainable agricultural development.
The hills of Abruzzo are famous for the quality of their wine and Tortoreto can be proud to have excellent wineries in its territory that produce Montepulciano d’Abruzzo D.O.C., Montepulciano dAbruzzo Colline Teramane D.O.C.G., Trebbiano and Cerasuolo d’Abruzzo D.O.C., as well Abruzzo Passerina D.O.C. and Abruzzo Pecorino D.O.C. Moreover, we can’t forget to mention olive groves that cover our hills and produce the famous oil “Petruziano of the Teramane Hills”.
Tortoreto preserves some of the most important medieval and Renaissance monuments of the province of Teramo. At the medieval village there are the churches of Santa Maria della Misericordia, built in 1348, with frescoes of the bonfini; Saint Nicholas, founded before the XI° century and rebuilt in 1534; Saint Augustine, begun in 1613, which houses a painting of Matthias Priests depicting the baptism of the saint;Madonna del Carmine from 1529.
The Clock Tower, built in the 9th century and later enlarged and completed in the 16th century with Renaissance trimmings, bears witness to its walls.
Where does the name Tortoreto come from? They say its name is due to the fact that, during the Middles Ages, a large amount of “turtle birds” (tortore) used to live in this area which was their natural habitat. When a village was built on the top of the hills to escape from the barbarian invasions, it was called TURTURITUS first and then TURTURETUM, from which the current name derives.
The origins of Tortoreto are very ancient: among several archaeological sites in its territory, there is also a rustic villa where the Romans used to live since the second century before Christ. Especially during the medieval period the village lived a remarkable development, as its historical centre demostrates. Not to forget its glorious past, every year Tortoreto commemorates the visit of Federico II’s Vicar to Baron Robert of Turturitus, in 1234. In the middle of the 18th century, Tortoreto became a part of the “Kingdon of Naples” and, after the unity of Italy, the first houses outside the walls began to be built. In 1900 Tortoreto became one of the most favorite holiday destinations on the Adriatic Sea. Its large and well-equipped beach, its Art Nouveau residences on the Sirena Promenade offer a good chance to tourists looking for relax.