Ahead of us we could see the Trabocco D’Annunzio (also called Trabocco Turchino) and the Eremo D’Annunzio concealed amongst the cliffs and orange trees. The steep cliffs alternate with small sandy coves. The famous poet and writer Gabriele D’Annunzio spent two months of the summer of 1889 here with Barbara Fraternali Leoni. The artist Francesco Paolo Michetti recommended this place to him due to the unspoilt beauty of the landscape. During his time here he was inspired to write ‘Il Trionfo della Morte’ (Death’s Triumph), in which he describes some of the places surrounding the hermitage. He wrote:
“The chain of promontories and crescent-shaped gulfs rendered an image of a succession of offerings, with each inlet holding a treasure.”
From the other side of the abbey we admired a line of ‘trabocchi’ - old fishing machines. In this picture you can just about make out four of them in a row along the coast. The light was fading at this time of the evening. This area is considered one of the most beautiful of the entire Trabocco coastline.
The abbey sits on a hill dominating the Adriatic coastline. At dusk it is illuminated and is a wondrous sight from all around.
The interior is divided into three naves divided by twelve pillars with gothic arches and it has a high roof of wooden beams. Real treasure is to be found down in the crypt - marble pillars dating back to Roman times and frescoes dating back to the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. The frescoes were restored in October 2009. In the central fresco Christ is in the middle with saints Benedict and John the Baptist on either side. On the right wall is a panel with the Virgin and Child between the Archangel Michael and St Nicholas of Bari.
Daniele, our guide, has several interesting itineraries for day trips in Abruzzo. See his website for more details: http://www.abruzzowithyou.com/