Of Roman origin, as well as being an ideal and elegant seaside resort with a wide beach of fine golden sand bordered by a promenade lined with palm trees, oleanders, pines and flowers, Giulianova is also a place of art rich in unexpected treasures.
Known in the Middle Ages as Castel San Flaviano, it became a county of the Acquaviva family in the 14th century. Destroyed as a result of the war for the crown of Southern Italy, Duke Giulio Antonio Acquaviva decided to build a new city, further north, in an elevated position, which in time became one of the first architectural and urban experiments of the 15th century, an 'ideal Renaissance city' inspired by the most advanced ideas of the humanists Leon Battista Alberti and Francesco Di Giorgio Martini.
Overlooking one of the most picturesque stretches of the Abruzzo coastline, it was chosen as the residence of Alexandrovna Obreskov Acquaviva of Aragon, a writer, painter and musician. From 1851, the year she married Carlo Acquaviva of Aragon, the Countess of Castellana made the town a lively intellectual centre hosting artists and personalities such as Vittorio Emanuele II from all over Italy. In summer, concerts were held there, attended by musicians such as Francesco Paolo Tosti and Gaetano Braga.
Among the city's sacred buildings, dedicate a visit to the Cathedral of San Flaviano. Its construction began in the decade 1472-1481 and was completed in the early 16th century. It is characterised by a particularly evocative interior, with its clean, classical lines and the shaft of light coming from the lantern Torrione 'Il Bianco', the largest of the remains of the ancient walls that encircled the city. The Sanctuary of the Madonna dello Splendore, a place of worship and popular devotion where every year the people of Giulianova celebrate the apparition of the Virgin Mary that occurred, according to tradition, in 1557. The Church of Santa Maria a Mare, the oldest in Giulianova, dating back to the 12th century, which stands out for its façade made of terracotta and embellished by the magnificent early 14th century portal, characterised by the presence of eighteen finely engraved panels.
A walk along the monumental promenade, characterised by travertine columns ending in streetlamps, is a great way to regenerate yourself. Walking along it in a northerly direction, you will come across splendid Art Nouveau buildings, such as Villa Paris-Costantini and Villa Gasbarrini, and the imposing Colonia Maltoni-Mussolini, an example of Fascist architecture.
A stop at the Kursaal, an elegant historic building built in the lower part in 1913 as a marine club and completed in Art Nouveau style sixteen years later, and the Civic Museum Centre might be interesting.
The area's cuisine alternates between traditional Teramo dishes and more elegant, contemporary recipes: don’t miss the Brodetto di pesce alla giuliese (fish soup), served in the original terracotta earthenware pots, whose secret lies in the peculiar way it is cooked, consisting of not stirring or turning the fish with ladles or spoons, but simply 'shaking' the pan over the flame.