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Inhabited in Roman times by the Frentan people, in the Middle Ages Fossa Ceca was a fief of the Benedictine monastery of San Giovanni in Venere following the alternating historical events.
Blue Flag for 21 years, City Silver Medal for Civil Merit, City of Oil and Wine, Fossacesia boasts a particularly marked tourist vocation.
The presence of the Green Way on the Trabocchi Coast that runs along the seafront of Fossacesia Marina has encouraged the development of a series of activities on eco-sustainable mobility, such as bike sharing, micro mobility activities, charging points for electric cars.
Fossacesia is on the table with extra virgin olive oil, citrus, fish dishes, especially oily fish to be tasted on trabocchi, pizzas and foje, pallotte cace e ove, pizza with peppers and sardines, crispelle, sise di Venere, “celli pieno”, bocconotti.
Among the wines of fine production there are Montepulciano d’Abruzzo DOC and other excellent wines from Pecorino, Passerina and Cococciola grapes.
A CITY TO DISCOVER
A land washed by the sea and defended by the Appennine Mountains, Ortona is the gateway to this part of Abruzzo, inhabited since the Bronze Age (1400 BC) as a seafaring and later developed, by the shelter of its promontory overviewing the Adriatic Sea, into a commercial and tourist harbour.
The city now has 24 thousand people living in a hilly area of over 70 sq km – protected to the west by the nearby Mount Majella, 2,793 m in height – extending from south to north along a coastline of about 20 km.
The city was reborn after the tragic destruction of 80% of its buildings from World War II, preserving with affection the important traces of its urban planning and was awarded the Gold Medal of the Presidency of the Italian Republic for the acknowlegement of the civilian contribution of al the victims who sacrificed their lives in honour of their town.
THE COAST AND THE BEACHES OF ORTONA
The coast extends for about 20 km and consists of an initial northern section, location Foro and Lido Riccio, with a wide and sandy beach, free bathing areas and resorts. Of naturalistic interest for its flora and fauna is the beach of dunes that lies between the station of Tollo and the mouth of the Arielli River.
Beyond the sandy lido, there is a succession of coves and pristine gulfs, rich in Mediterranean flora, such as the Ripari di Giobbe, Punto Ferruccio, Punta Lunga and further south Acquabella.
A varied coast, part of the Teatine Coast that extends from Ortona to San Salvo, characterised by the presence of the Trabocchi, ancient fishing structures.
Behind the harbour and the area of pleasure-boating, there is the Lido Saraceni, a sandy bay with beach resorts and free areas below the green promontory of the hill of San Donato.
FESTIVALS AND TRADITIONS
Among the events not to be missed, on January 17 St. Anthony, popular representation of the Saint’s life in various locations around the city and on January 20 St. Sebastian in St. Thomas Square with the ritual of the ferry, a small papier-maché boat full of smoke rockets suspended with a wire that connects the two ends of the square. The voyage of the boat along the thread, once ignited, indicates the auspices for the fishing season and agriculture.
The Good Friday procession during the week of the Easter festivities with the heart-rending singing of the Miserere by the composer Francesco Masciangelo (1823-1906) and the prologue of the procession of symbols of the passion at the crack of dawn. During the first weekend of May, there is the celebration of the Perdono (Forgiveness), in honour of St. Thomas the Apostle, with the Saturday afternoon parade of the silver keys, the Sunday morning procession of the gift and in the evening the procession of the bust of the Patron Saint.
On December 28, a manifestation recalls the end of the Battle of Ortona with the assignment of its award to the distinguished personalities of the community of Ortona.
Abruzzo is among the top 5 regions of Italy for the production of wines and in the countryside of the Province of Chieti, between the Adriatic and the mountain, lies 80% of the region’s vineyards: the diamond point of this territory being Ortona with its orographic structure and rolling hills, rich in rivers and streams, represents the best winemaking of Abruzzo in terms of quality and quantity.
The wines, Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, Trebbiano, Cerasuolo, Pecorino, Passerina and Cococciola, are the expression of this land rich in tradition and innovations.
Besides the various private cellars, there are two wine growers’ cooperatives and a consortium of cooperatives for bottling present on the territory, all internationally acknowledged.
Corvo Palace, in the historic centre of Ortona, hosts the Regional Wine Cellar of Abruzzo, where you can taste and buy a wide variety of local wines. Alongside the winemaking qualities, there is an equally unique and refined production of oil.
BETWEEN SEA AND LAND
The cuisine of Ortona is the happy marriage between the products of the sea and those of the earth. Among the typical dishes you can find the brodetto, fish soup with tomatoes, peppers and EV olive oil, served in terracotta pots; baccalà e patate in umido, salted codfish and potato stew; broccoli e stoccafisso, broccoli and stockfish; baccalà e peperoni, salted codfish and peperoni; seppie e piselli, squid and peas; finally, spaghetti con pelosi o frutti di mare, spaghetti with crab or seafood, and frittura di pesce dell’Adriatico, fried fish of the Adriatic. Tied to the rural tradition is pasta alla chitarra, handmade pasta with mixed meat ragù, cardone in brodo di tacchino, cardoon in turkey soup, pallotte cace e ove, cheese dumplings (made of eggs, grated cheese and breadcrumbs), pizze e fuoije (sautéed mixed greens accompanied by cornbread).
Among the traditional desserts are the nevole, cone-shaped rolled wafers made with mosto cotto, oil and flour, flavoured with cinnamon and baked between two heated iron plates like the pizzelle, a re-elaborated version of the pizzelle of Abruzzo.