The Adriatic Sea
The Adriatic Sea is a part of the Mediterranean Sea and separates the Apennine Peninsula from the Balkans. Italy is located on its western coast. It was called Mare Superum in Latin. Different versions exist about the origin of the modern name of the Adriatic Sea. The scientists argue that it comes from the city of Adria (Hadria), an Etruscan colony, and initially only the northern part of the sea was called the Adriatic. Some Abruzzesi believe that the sea was named after the city of Atri, which is located in Abruzzo. For many centuries, the Adriatic Sea served as the main transportation artery, a rich source of livelihood and a place for recreation.
The only entrance to the Adriatic Sea is the Otranto Strait, which is located between Italy and Albania and connects the Adriatic and the Ionian Seas. The sea is 800 km long and 225 km wide and its area makes up 132 sq. km. The Adriatic Sea is one of the shallowest parts of the Mediterranean Sea; its average depth makes up only 240 m. The deepest place (1,230 m) is located between Bari (Italy) and Montenegro.
The eastern and western coasts of the Adriatic Sea are very different. The western or Italian coast is mostly straight, uninterrupted and low-lying. The eastern coast (Croatia, Serbia and Montenegro), where the Dinaric Alps descend abruptly to the sea, is mountainous and abounds in islands.
The northern part of Italian Adriatic coast is dominated by marshes and lagoons, while the central and southern parts are composed of sandy beaches and lowlands, which in many places pass into the foothills of the Apennines.
By contrast with a relatively small area of the Abruzzo region, the coastline seems endless. Abruzzo accounts for 133 km of the Adriatic coast, dominated by golden sandy beaches, cool pine groves, but there are cliffs and pebbly coves as well. You can find here modern beaches equipped with all facilities for diverse and comfortable holiday, or a deserted beach to enjoy tranquility and privacy. In 2011, the beaches of Abruzzo have once again won 13 «Blue Flags» for compliance with international standards of purity and requirements of eco-tourism.
The Adriatic coast of Abruzzo passes through three provinces: Teramo, Pescara and Chieti.
The northern Riviera stretches from the mouth of the river Tronto on the border with the Le Marche region to the mouth of Foro river between the cities of Francavilla and Ortona. It is characterized by a low-lying and sandy coastline. The beaches present a smooth broad strip of golden sand. Here and there, you can meet thickets of typical Mediterranean evergreen shrubs maquis and sand dunes that mark the border between the shore and pine groves. Famous pine groves of the town of Pineto grow very close to the shore. A thick grove of Aleppo umbrella pines surround the powerful and mysterious Cerrano castle, which was formerly a watchtower and served as a bulwark protecting against the Moorish pirates.
The southern Riviera gets a rocky nature near the city of Ortona, creating stunningly cliffs of Punta di Ferruccio, Punta di Acquabella, Punta del Cavalluccio and Punta Aderci. In many places the coast is indented by cliffs and small coves, which conceal beaches, caves and pebble areas. Such places are ideal for scuba diving and observing animated life of the seabed. Among high bluffs and cliffs, there is situated the beautiful the Venus Gulf and farther to the south the perfectly contoured semi-circle of the Vasto Gulf.
Fans of outdoor activities will find on the Abruzzian coast a wide range of exciting activities, including sailing, windsurfing, scuba diving, canoeing, fishing and visiting aqua parks.