Vasto (about 40.000 inhabitants) is situated in the province of Chieti, near bordering Molise. Its municipal territory is made up of Vasto, on a hilltop that dominates the Gulf of Vasto, and Vasto Marina, lying on the Adriatic coast.

The legend has it that Vasto was called Histon (Histonium in Latin) by the Greek mythological hero Diomede. In the Italic period, the area in which Vasto is now situated was inhabited by Frentans, that had contacts with Sannites and Magna Graecia. Between IV and III century BC, Vasto became a Roman town. After the breakdown of the Roman Empire, it was invaded by Ostrogoths, Byzantines and Lombards. From XIII to XIX century it was a part of the Kingdom of Naples. Feud of the Caldora family under the Angevins, in XV century it passed to d’Avalos family under the Aragon domination. Vasto is a historical town, with many Roman finds, kept in Vasto’s Archaeological Museum, and Medieval monuments.

The main monuments are d’Avalos Palace, the Caldoresco Castle, Aragona Castle and Miramare Castle, the Medieval towers, the Cathedral of San Giuseppe and the church of Santa Maria Maggiore.

Vasto’s coast is both rocky, in locality Punta Penna, and sandy, in front of the Marina district. Vastese chowder is the traditional dish.

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