Some 75km southeast of Pescara and close to the border with Molise, VASTO is a fine old city, built on the site of the Roman town Histonium and overlooking the resort of Marina di Vasto. There are plenty of campsites, and some reasonable hotels along the broad sandy beach – palm-lined and beach-hutted in the centre, wilder and rockier to the north (the ever-shrinking free beach area is central), with devices known as trabocchi installed every so often. These are Heath Robinson-ish crane-like contraptions of wooden beams and nets, with a complex system of weights, designed for scooping up fish.
Vasto is all about the beach, though if you’re here for a day or so you should definitely get a bus from the train station on the seafront to the upper town, whose rooftops and campaniles rise above palms and olive groves. The centre of town is Piazza Rossetti, dominated by the massive Castello Caldoresco.