Last Updated: 20 July 2018

Rocca San Giovanni

Rocca San Giovanni, a historic hamlet which is part of the Circuit of the Most Beautiful Villages in Italy, stands on a rocky hill overlooking the splendid Costa dei Trabocchi riviera. The village, founded in the 11th century, has a long and important history, of which are many interesting memories in its churches, palaces, Norman walls built in 1061 even before the Normans conquered England in 1066, and other buildings, with an old town going back to the 1300s, worth exploring.

Rocca San Giovanni has a series of small beaches and countless coves with a turquoise and transparent sea. They are considered the most lovely on the Costa dei Trabocchi and among the best beaches in the entire Abruzzo region. Rocca San Giovanni was awarded the Blue Flag eco-label, as well as winning recognitions from the Italian environmental association Legambiente, for the purity of its waters.

Rocca San Giovanni's largest, most frequented and best equipped beach is in the locality Foce, and has a mainly pebbly shoreline that stretches for over 600 meters between the ancient village of Vallevò, which also has a beach, and Punta Torre. The most evocative and best known is the Trabocco Punta Cavalluccio ('little horse') beach, mostly sandy, 30 metres long and 4 wide, with a high sea stack called the 'Scoglione' (big rock), similar to the more famous "faraglioni" in the island of Capri, and dominated by the imposing promontory rising up behind it and lining the whole bay.

To the north are the white pebble beaches of Vallegrotte and the Balena. The sea is very beautiful, blue, crystalline and with sloping and mostly sandy bottoms everywhere, ideal for swimming and diving. Further south is the Punta Punciosa beach. Reaching the beaches is easy by taking the Statale 16 road and then the Rocca San Giovanni exit.

The Costa dei Trabocchi, which is the maritime area of Rocca San Giovanni, as well as of Ortona, Marina di San Vito Chietino, Fossacesia Marina, Torino di Sangro and Casalbordino, is rich in hamlets and seaside resorts, and is characterised by a series of inlets and coves among cliffs, rocks and rugged shores. The charm of this stretch of coastline is also due to its scents, carried by olive trees, pines, brooms, oranges, medlars and wild fennel, typical of the area.

Nearby is the walled town of Lanciano, with its Sanctuary of the Eucharistic Miracle and a cathedral dating back to 1389.

Marina di San Vito Chietino, among the most picturesque seaside resorts of Abruzzo, a bit reminiscent of Cinque Terre villages, is at the foot of a rocky spur commanding the Adriatic Sea, dominated by the beautiful village of San Vito Chietino, placed on top of the spur. On its long shoreline, Blue Flag 2014, are both fine sand and pebble beaches and coves, lapped by a crystalline and transparent sea and overlooked by gigantic sandstone cliffs frequented by divers and snorkelers. The area is well equipped but not overcrowded with tourists.

On a promontory, between orange groves and brooms is the Eremo Dannunziano, a peaceful corner immersed in natural beauty, the Hermitage of the great early-19th-century poet Gabriele D'Annunzio, where he loved to spend long periods. Recommended is also in San Vito Chietino the wild and hidden beach known as Calata Turchino, so called for the colour of its waters reminiscent of the sky, with spectacular sea.

We are now on the southern coast of Abruzzo.

Fossacesia Marina, awarded with the Blue Flag, is close to the Romanesque Basilica of San Giovanni in Venere, built before the 1200s.


Best Loved Accommodation

These are among the preferred hotels and resorts in Costa dei Trabocchi and near Rocca San Giovanni most highly rated by guests:

Hotel Levante in Fossacesia Marina 4-star hotel 150 yards from the beach at Fossacesia Marina. The hotel is in an enviable location, a 5-minute drive or 30-minute walk from the splendid panoramic point of the Abbey of San Giovanni in Venere, Viale San Giovanni in Venere, Fossacesia. Hotel Levante has an outdoor swimming pool, private beach area, free on-site private parking, free bikes, free Wi-Fi and air conditioning in all rooms, garden, terrace, bar, restaurant, 24-hour front desk, and many more facilities.

La Chiave dei Trabocchi in San Vito Chietino very well-liked 4-star luxury hotel 9 minutes' walk from the beach in San Vito Chietino, a picturesque village stretched along a rocky spur on the Turchino headland. It has has an outdoor swimming pool, its own private beach area, free on-site public parking, free Wi-Fi in all rooms, garden, terrace, bikes available to guests for free, restaurant, bar, snack bar, shuttle service. All rooms are air-conditioned. La Chiave dei Trabocchi is rated by guests for the best value in San Vito Chietino.

Villaggio Costa d'Argento in San Vito Chietino is 4 minutes' walk from the beach in San Vito Chietino, offering self-catering accommodation consisting in one-bedroom and two-bedroom bungalows sleeping up to 5 adults and 2-bedroom mobile homes sleeping 4. Each bungalow has a seating area and an equipped kitchenette with refrigerator and kitchenware. Villaggio Costa d'Argento has an outdoor swimming pool, its own private beach area, free on-site private parking, free Wi-Fi in public areas, garden, furnished sun terrace with deckchairs and paralsols, kids' pool, picnic area, restaurant, bar, tennis court, entertainment staff, lounge, a games room, and many more services. The hotel is a 10-minute walk from San Vito Lanciano Train Station and a 35-minute drive from Pescara.

Albergo Roma in Lanciano 2-star hotel in an excellent location right in Lanciano town centre, 50 yards from the bus stop to/from Rome, 200 yards from the train station linking with Pescara, and very close to the Sanctuary of the Eucharistic Miracle. The Adriatic Coast is a 20-minute drive from the hotel. Albergo Roma, as well as rooms, has two-bedroom apartments. It is 30 minutes from the Maiella Mountains with their National Park and 15 minutes from the renowned Costa dei Trabocchi. Rooms have free Wi-Fi and air conditionig, as well as en-suite bathroom and all the usual amenities. Albergo Roma is 4.3 miles from the A14 Autostrada Adriatica motorway and a 25-minute drive from Ortona.

Hotel Anxanum in Lanciano 3-star hotel 6.2 miles from the Adriatic Sea, in the centre of Lanciano, near the Sanctuary of the Eucharistic Miracle and the 14-century Cathedral of this renowned town. The hotel has an outdoor swimming pool with hot tub, free on-site private parking, garden, terrace, air conditioning in every room, bar, 24-hour front desk, a fitness centre and gym, a sauna, Turkish bath, massage room, and many more facilities. There is free Wi-Fi in both rooms and lobby.





Photo credits: Marina di San Vito Chietino by Giovanni Marcolongo at Visual Drone Service, Abruzzo Coast by Giulio Gigante, Fossacesia Marina by maury3001

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