Ancient Fishing Tradition

Trabucchi, Vieste, ItalyIf you travel along the Gargano coast between Vieste and Peschici you can't help but notice strange wooden structures jutting out along the Adriatic Sea. These fishing platforms are known as trabucchi and they are part of the ancient Gargano sea-faring tradition. The name derived from the word trabocchetto meaning trap.The trabucchi structures came into existence about three hundred years ago as a way to fish when sea conditions were too bad to take out the boats. Local historians have traced back the structures to the times of the Fenici, Semite people who were great navigators and traders.

Flexible Design

Looking fragile and unsafe, the structure is made strong by the interlacing of beams and ropes. They are extremely flexible and resistant to the fury of the sea.Stakes or hollow poles are driven into the rocks as the structure is built approximately 5m from the shore or cliff. Once the walkway and platform are built, ropes supporting a large fishing mesh net are lowered into the water. The nets are placed either north-west or south-east to take advantage of the currents.

Intregal Part of the Landscape

Though the trabucchi tradition has long gone, every year in June a trabucchi celebration takes place where tourists can watch the trabucchi at work. Many have been restored and reconstructed over the years but today they no longer have an economic function. However plans are underway in Gargano area to finance a project for the re-establishment of trabucchi fishing industry (mainly for tourism). Trabucchi and the impressive towers (which were built to protect the coast from Turkish invasion) are an integral part of the Gargano landscape.