The town of
Vasto (old Histonium) sits on the Adriatic coast south of Pescara and owes its
name to the Greek word for wool 'iston'. It was the old seat of the Frentani, an
ancient Italic people who survived happily until a 4 year social war gave an
excuse for Rome to swallow them up in 88 BC. The town has its own cathedral,
S.Maria Maggiore, which was built in the 11th century AD.
It was badly
damaged during a Turkish invasion in 1566 and again by fire in 1645 before being
reconstructed in a neo-classical style in 1785. The magnificent bell tower dates
from the 14th century AD. The surrounding Frentani Hills still reminds
us the original inhabitants and are themselves home to an unspoilt land of
broadleafed woods and truffle filled soils heading towards Molise.
Marina, its Castles and its Churches, Vasto also offers its visitors a tasty and
genuine cuisine. The gastronomic tradition is typical of seaside localities, and
the typical dishes include: Scapece, a local fish dish flavored with vinegar,
this is the only dish in Abruzzo which uses the saffron which is cultivated in
L'Aquila; Brodetto di Pesce, composed of different kinds of fish seasoned with
oil, tomatoes and herbs, cooked in crockery baking-pans; macaroni with fava
beans; and the big crabs typical of the Abruzzese bluffs.