A coastal municipality in the province of Chieti, Vasto is also the most populous city after its provincial capital. It is located in the Southern area of the Region, near to the coast of Marina, which stretches towards the mouth of the river Tigno and is characterized by a wide sandy beach. North of town lies the coast of Santa Maria della Penna and the rocky coast of Punta Aderci, today declared a Natural Reserve.
Of ancient origins, the first settlement was founded by people coming from Dalmatia with the name "Histon. Subsequently it was occupied by the Frentani and became a Roman Municipium (Histonium). In the post-imperial ages, the city was not spared by the barbarian invasions, which was followed by a dark period in which the town lost even its name. Rebuilt in the Lombard era with the new name of "Guasto", with reference to the Gastaldato (County), a territorial division used by the Lombards. After the Angevin period, Vasto was assigned to the D'Avalos, of Spanish origins, that embellished the city with the magnificence of the Iberian court.
Not to miss:
- the Cathedral of St. Joseph, whose original structure dates from the XIII century, and was subsequently altered;
- the Church of Santa Maria Maggiore, cited in a charter of Henry VI of 1195;
- the Church of Our Lady del Carmine, whose presence is already attested in the XIV century when it was entitled to St. Nicholas;
- the Church of St. Anthony of Padua, dating from the XIV century;
- the remains of the ancient Church of San Pietro, whose presence is attested since 809,
- Roman ruins (a Spa bath, macellum and some fresh water tanks)
- Palazzo D'Avalos, destroyed by the Turks in the XVI century and rebuilt in Renaissance style. Today it houses the Archaeological Museum and Art Gallery;
- the Castle Caldoresco, situated on a promontory overlooking the coast. The original building dates between the XIV and XV centuries;
- the Castle Aragonese;
- the Castle Miramare,
- Numerous fortified towers, part of an imposing defense system (Torre di Bassano, Torre Diomede del Moro, Torre Santo Spirito, the remains of Torre Sinello, Torre Punta Penna).