Updated: Feb 20
In my last article I talked about the Riviera delle Palme, today I want to take you for a walk around its most important town: San Benedetto del Tronto.
San Benedetto is a town of about 50,000 inhabitants, a destination mainly for summer tourism that flocks to its long sandy beaches from the end of May to September.
Since 1999 the renowned "Blue Flag" has been waving in San Benedetto del Tronto , the coveted recognition of the FEE (Foundation for Environmental Education), which rewards the towns for the meticulous care of the coasts, the high environmental quality of the waters and the many services offered to the tourist.
Our walk must start from the San Benedetto seafront. The promenade extends for about 5 km from the roundabout in Porto d’Ascoli (Salvo d’Acquisto square) to the "Palazzina Azzurra" (Blue Villa) near to the roundabout in Piazza Giorgini, right in the city center. The waterfront is accessible to vehicles, bikes and pedestrians and is lined with oleanders and palm trees that evoke exotic scenery.
In the southern part of the promenade you will find many themed gardens with over 100 species of plants and flowers where, especially in the hottest summer hours, you can take a refreshing stop waiting to go back on the beach.
In order we can see the folllowing gardens: Multisensory, Country, Children's, Health, Citrus, Mediterranean, Palms, Arid, Moist and Roses.
The north promenade, on the other hand, is very famous for the presence of Art Nouveau villas finely adorned with pictorial decorations of sea scenes and floral motifs, with decorated turrets and railings.
The presence of these villas and cottages built in the late nineteenth century denotes the development of seaside tourism and the prestigious position that the city has had since this historical period.
The entire promenade is equipped with bathing establishments where you can rent umbrellas and deck chairs. Equipped with all services, games and sports activities, many of them offer a restaurant or bar service. Here you can have a quick lunch or a romantic fish dinner overlooking the sea.
Walking along the promenade from south to north you will arrive at the famous monument of Ugo Nespolo "lavorare, lavorare, preferisco il rumore del mare" - "working, working, I prefer the sound of the sea" - (raise your hand if you don't agree with this thought) in front of which stands the "Palazzina azzurra" - or blue villa. It's a famous building that pratically marks the beginning of the city center.
The "Palazzina Azzurra" is one of the iconic places of San Benedetto and the result of the intense activity of improvement of the town structures desired by the municipality at the end of the nineteenth century due to the growing tourist development of the town since these years.
The "Palazzina Azzurra" was initially the seat of the tourist office, thenbecame one of the most renowned dance hall of the Adriatic coast and today, after a patient restoration that has recovered its original shapes and colors, the building has become the seat of exhibitions and cultural events as well as a public park full of plants and flowers of a thousand colors.
From the "Palazzina Azzurra" walking along viale Buozzi you'll arrive at the roundabout in piazza Giorgini where you can see the lighthouse. This one is the undisputed symbol of the seafaring character of San Benedetto.
The San Benedetto del Tronto lighthouse officially came into operation in 1957 and is very important for the entire Middle Adriatic seafaring both for its scope and for the geographical position between the port of Ancona and that of Ortona.
The shopping street starts from the Giorgini roundabout. Alongside the shopping street you will find historic cafes, boutiques and shops: a small world to be explored. It's adorned by the creations of Paolo Consorti, Salvatore Mangione, Ugo Nespolo, Aldo Sergiacomi and Mark Kostabi and the work "i sognatori" by Paolo Annibaliche. This creations make the whole city center of San Benedetto a real open-air museum.
Even if the heart of the town is now the modern area, the original settlement was the high town, strategically built on a hill. Here we can see “lu Campanò” better known as the Gualtieri tower, an ancient hexagonal lookout post dating back to the 12th - 13th century.
From the tower and the square below you can enjoy a magnificent view over the whole modern city.
Also in the "high town" of the town you can admire other historic buildings: the bishop's palace, the Church of San Benedetto Martire and the Bice Piacentini palace. This building owes its name to Bice Piacentini, a poetess famous for her sonnets in the San Benedetto dialect, who lived here for a long time. Currently the building houses a contemporary art exhibition center and an archive of the municipality. Since 2006 it has been the seat of the Pinacoteca del Mare with 180 works from the municipal heritage.
A special mention certainly deserves the port of San Benedetto where you can see the tourist area and the other one dedicated to fishing boats.
If you are on holiday in San Benedetto you must take a walk to the port to breathe the real scent of the sea and understand how the sea and fishing have been and still are part of the development of the town.
If you are in the harbor area, you should definitely take a walk or a bike ride to the pier (1 km long) to admire the MAM (Museum of Art on the Sea).
It's an open-air museum where you can see 151 sculptures and 18 murals created by different artists from 37 countries of the 5 continents who arrived in San Benedetto thanks to the project "scultura viva" which is held periodically in the town.
In the middle part of the pier stands the imposing sculpture created by the artist Mario Lupo dedicated to the seagull Jonathan Livingstone, protagonist of the book.
Here you can see also the travertine sail that stands out ready to set sail towards the east and the naïve statues of the fishermen looking out at the sea.
From the seafront of San Benedetto you can enjoy a magnificent view over the entire coast and on clear days you can even admire the Majella and the Gran Sasso mountains. Here you can enjoy the right combination of sea and mountains, don't you think?
Not far from the pier you can visit the "museum of the sea" which houses numerous artifacts related to fishing and marine activity.
For more information on visiting the museum, visit its website www.museodelmaresbt.it.
So, do you like this walk in San Benedetto del Tronto?
Write it in the comments.
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