Hang around the coastal towns and villages of Abruzzo, Molise and northern Puglia and you’ll soon become adept at spotting trabucchi. These old-fashioned wooden fishing platforms that jut out into the sea have a long history, possibly stretching back to Phoenician times. Made entirely of local pine, they're located on rocky promontories where their complex nets trap fish swimming close to the shoreline.
There are two types of trabucchi on Italy’s Adriatic coast. Those in Abruzzo and Molise usually inhabit shallow waters, necessitating a narrow wooden walkway to connect the platform (usually equipped with a small wooden hut) with the shore. The trabucchi on the Gargano peninsula in Puglia, on the other hand, are sited over deeper drop-offs meaning the platforms are generally connected directly to the shoreline.
Trabucchi are protected as historic monuments in Parco Nazionale del Gargano, where numerous examples embellish the shore between Vieste and Peschici. Most are still used by fishers and some have been turned into fish restaurants where – if you’re lucky – you can watch your meal being caught before you eat it. A memorable example is Al Trabucco da Mimi in Peschici.