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With no airport in the locality, the town and pristine beaches of Vasto on eastern Italy’s Adriatic Sea shoreline are most conveniently reached by train. Adriatic line trains between Ancona and Bari call at Vasto-San Salvo Railway Station. The station is midway between the two towns and arriving passengers taking out a car rental are able to reach beaches such as Punta Penna and Fossacesia without any problems. Vasto itself is a real delight, with ancient streets and striking edifices including Palazzo d'Avalos, Caldoresco Castle and Santa Maria Maggiore’s Church.
Who to Book With
Vasto’s railway station is not too busy and there are no car hire firms with offices actually on the concourse. International suppliers such as Europcar, Sixt and Avis as well as Italian company Maggiore provide service for passengers at the station from nearby depots. Sixt, for example, operates out of an office three miles away at San Salvo Marina. Booking online gives the cheapest rates for all suppliers at the station.
Best Time to Go
July and August are hot in Vasto and daytime temperatures are consistently above 30°C. As Vasto is not on the mainstream holiday trail it is not crowded and those who relish the heat and endless sunshine will enjoy holidays at this time. People who like it a tad cooler will find April to June or September and October more conducive. Hotels and vehicle rental rates tend to be higher during July and August.
Need to Know Essentials
Hire company representatives need to see the following items before they will allow you to take your vehicle:
- Your national driving licence (drivers from countries with licences in English script do not need an International Driving Permit)
- The hirer’s passport or other identification document
- Printed confirmation of the reservation
- The credit or debit card you used when making the original booking
See our FAQ's page for more information.
Via Dalmazzia is straight outside the station and is the route north to Vasto Beach and the old quarter of town. The same road southbound takes you to San Salvo and the interchange with the A14 (Autostrada Adriatica), the principal motorway on the east side of the Italian peninsula. The A14 is a toll road and the AA website has up-to-date lists of fees for particular sections of it. Streets in the old town of Vasto are narrow and not easy to park or drive on. There are plenty of car parks at the back of the beach.
Our country guide for Italy has tips and more details about driving here.
Trains, buses and taxis are the public transport option for travelling around Vasto. There are some hotels near the station which make a good base for sightseeing and beach excursions. Buses from the station to Vasto and San Salvo are irregular, which makes rental cars or taxis the more convenient options for onward travel. Taxis are available, but are not always waiting at the station.
Ferrovia Adriatica is one of Italy’s principal railway routes and travels parallel with the Adriatic shoreline. Local destinations include Porto di Vasto (Vasto’s other station) Fossacesia, Termoli and Foggia. Trains are operated by Trenitalia and timetables are available on its website.
Vasto’s bus terminal is modern and served by a number of different companies which ply both local and cross-country routes. Local destinations include L’Aquila, Lanciano, Pescara and Chieti. Di Carlo operates buses on the route south to San Salvo. Rome, Naples and Bologna are among the long-distance services.
There are only a couple of taxi firms operating in Vasto. Companies from San Salvo and Pescara are the nearest of any size. Drivers sometimes greet arriving trains, but usually only if they happen to be in the vicinity.
Beaches are the principal draw of Vasto and the town’s own beach, as well as the long stretches of golden sands at San Salvo, Fossacesia and Pescara are most comfortably accessed with your own car hire. Other popular outings in the locality are Aqualand del Vasto, Punta Aderci Natural Reserve and the historic buildings and museums of L’Aquila.
Aqualand del Vasto – The 3,000-square metre amusement park boasts a full range of attractions for the whole family. Swimming pools, water slides, the Kamikaze, the Twister and aquagyms are among them. A gym, together with a spa offering Shiatsu and Thai massages and yoga instruction give the body a touch of pampering. Abundant picnic areas and a farmyard with donkeys and pigs round off the attractions at Aqualand.
Riserva Naturale di Punta Aderci – The reserve stretches up from the town of Vasto and offers bucolic road trips through a landscape featuring pastureland, vineyards and olive groves with the sparkling waters of the Adriatic as a backdrop. Punta Penna Beach is Blue Flag rated and is usually deserted. Punta Aderci is a coastal cape in the reserve with panoramic views of the locality.
L’Aquila – This mountain town is a 100-mile trip from Vasto, but boasts a wealth of attractions that make the journey worthwhile. The 16th century Spanish Fort, and current home of the Abruzzo Museum, is the jewel in the crown of streets and piazzas packed with lovely Baroque and Renaissance structures. Nearby destinations such as the Roman ruins at Amiternum, ski resorts, including Ovindoli, and hiking paths add to the delights of L’Aquila.