I love Ortona

The Pearl of the Adriatic

Ortona. Anciently known as the "Adriatic's Pearl", it is a quiet seaside village enriched by the historical neighborhood of Terravecchia. Thanks to its position, Ortona is also the perfect starting point to discover Abruzzo.


Ortona. Deep roots and precious past

Our town is in an enviable and strategic position to reveal the natural beauty of our land and coast. Our historic sites tell the story of the development of different civilisations over the centuries. Ortona has an important history filled with more culture and art than you can imagine, making it the true ‘Pearl of the Adriatic’.

Its ancient origins date back to the Frentani people. It became a Roman city from the third century BC, then it was inevitably occupied. Ortona flourished again only years later, when at first, in the Swabian era, it experienced a new economic development and then, from 1258, it became a religious reference point for the relics of Saint Thomas Apostle still kept in the Cathedral.

During the Renaissance period, with Jacopo Caldora, the walls were rebuilt and the Aragonese Castle was strengthened. The castle was built for Frederick II of Sweden, inspiring Margaret of Austria to order the Palazzo Farnese to be built.

During World War II, Ortona was part of the Gustav line - the main German defence line. Among the worst moments of our local history, during WW2, there was a bloody and destructive battle between German and Canadian soldiers. Coined the ‘Battle of Ortona’, it took place between 21st December 1943 and 28th December 1943

The name "the Pearl of the Adriatic" is not only for the position and for the importance of its port but also because it has a great cultural and historical tradition that has no equal.


Ortona, the land of hard-work and simplicity, where fishermen relied on their faith to keep them safe

Since 1258, when the seafarer Leone Acciaiuoli arrived at the old town’s port, Ortona has hosted the relics of Saint Thomas. Saint Thomas was a representation of the local people, having displayed humanity in doubting his faith but ultimately believing.

As fishermen invoked his name, hoping for his help during difficult fishing days offshore from the coast, today everyone relies on 'San Tumass me' to direct their prayers, identifying in him the patron saint. Many tales linked to historical figures who lived near the Cathedral enrich the Ortonese maritime tradition. Close to Ortona there are other important places of worship such as the Volto Santo in Manopello and Miracolo Eucaristico in Lanciano identifying him as the patron saint.


Ortona. Original flavors and a blend of regional traditions

Ortona is proud of its roots and humble in telling stories about its authentic traditions.

Our unique culinary culture represents an essential part of native folklore. Dishes such as "pizze e fuoje", "lu puzznett di Sant Bastien", "li pallott cace e ove", and the famous "nevola" are part of the local heritage and different from any neighbouring town.

One of our best seasons is dedicated to cultivating grapes, fruit from the vines and the precious raw materials of our land.

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I love Abruzzo

"I love Abruzzo" comes from the desire to discover the wonders of home.