Trabocchi Coast :: Christ of the Deep – Vallevò

“The large fishing device, made of intertwined trunks, planks and hawsers, gleamed like a huge white skeleton of an antediluvian amphibious being… it looked as if it had a life of its own, feelings and an appearance of a living being.” ~Gabriele D’Annunzio, The Triumph of Death.

Trabocchi are a familiar feature all along the Adriatic coast, especially in the area from Ortona to San Salvo.
Appetibilis asked the architect and art history connoisseur Emiliano Fioriti for a brief historical outline of the trabocco as an architectural feature.

Trabocchi Coast | photo: ©Lonza65

The trabocco is a structure made of Aleppo pine, that can be found on the mid-Adriatic coastal areas. Its wood can be easily shaped and it is salt-resistant and flexible so that it can endure the strong northwest wind gusts blowing on the Adriatic Sea.

Trabocchi Coast | photo: ©Lonza65

Its structure consists of a platform facing the sea and it is secured to the rocky shore by means of wooden trunks. From these trunks, a few meters from the water, two or more long arms, – antennae – stretch out. They hold a huge thick net: the “bilancia” (i.e. Chinese fishing net).

Trabocchi Coast | photo: ©MateldaCodagnone

The first recordings of trabocchi date back to 1627, but some proofs of their presence go back to the Middle Ages, in “Vita Sanctissimi Petri Celestini”.

Trabocchi Coast | photo: ©GiuseppeMarone
Trabocchi Coast | photo: ©GiuseppeMarone

Soon after World War II the trabocchi were neglected, perhaps because of the transition from agricultural to industrial economy, but now they are experiencing a sort of revival as restaurants and points of interest along the coast between Ortona and Vasto.

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