Abruzzo, fishing suspended between the sea and the sky

4,2% of the national fishing fleet
17,9% Demersal Trawl
4,3% Seine
18,6% Hydraulic dredges
59,1% Small-scale fisheries


Suspended between the sea and the sky, “trabocchi” are authentic fishing machines, whose characteristics differ according to the morphology of the coast and the kind of fishery carried out

They look like houses on stilts and are connected to dry land by wooden walkways.

Thanks to the craftsmanship of the “trabocchi” master builders, even though they do not have foundations and are attached to the rocks by a system of cables and posts, they have survived for centuries.

The first mention of “trabocchi” goes back to the 17th century

The salt air, winds and storms have left their mark over time and today “trabocchi” are protected by special regional laws that make sure they are salvaged and enhanced.

It is astonishing how these incredible fishing machines can withstand storms despite their fragile and primitive appearance.

The fishing technique hasn’t changed since its origins: at the end of the walkway there is a platform, “antennas” are connected to the edge of the platform and go out over the sea, the net is fixed to the far ends of these antennas.

The net is lowered into the water thanks to a system of winches and, likewise, pulled up to retrieve the catch. From here you can haul in anchovies, round sardinella, mullet, sea bass, cuttlefish and silversides although now their main activity is that linked to gastronomy and restaurant services in what Italians call “ichthyic tourism”, which means hospitality, recreational, educational and cultural activities and services, which aim to give added value to fishery resources and the socio-cultural aspects of fisheries.

The view from a “trabocco” is wonderful, it inspired Gabriele D’Annunzio in the novel The Triumph of Death.

“… the great fishing machine, similar to the colossal skeleton of a primordial amphibian …”