Comune di Tortoreto

La Sirena – Statue located at the south end of Tortoreto Lido

Location of Tortoreto in Italy

Coordinates: 42°48′N 13°55′E / 42.800°N 13.917°E / 42.800; 13.917Coordinates: 42°48′N 13°55′E / 42.800°N 13.917°E / 42.800; 13.917
Country Italy
Region Abruzzo
Province / Metropolitan city Teramo (TE)
Frazioni Cavatassi, Colli, Salino, Terrabianca
  Mayor Francesco Tarricone (Government special commissioner)
  Total 23 km2 (9 sq mi)
Elevation 239 m (784 ft)
Population (28 February 2015)[1]
  Total 11,500
  Density 500/km2 (1,300/sq mi)
Demonym(s) Tortoretani
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
  Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code 64018
Dialing code 0861
Patron saint San Nicola di Bari
Saint day 6 December
Website Official website

Tortoreto (Italian: /torto'reto/) is a coastal town and comune of the province of Teramo in the Abruzzo region of Italy.

It has two distinct parts. The old town is on a hill not far from the Adriatic Sea. The new part, usually referred to as Tortoreto Lido, is seaside and located next to SS 16.

Tortoreto can be reached by direct rail service or by flying to the Pescara airport and then traveling 45 kilometres (28 mi) north.

The comune of Alba Adriatica was created in 1956 by splitting it off from Tortoreto.


The name of the town is due to the large presence of turtle doves (tortore) during the Middle Ages.

Pope Gregory I, for example, noticed in a letter the large amount of these species of birds which used to live in this area. Later on, the town created on the top of the hills after the barbarian invasions started to be called Turturitus[2] or Turturetum,[3] and, eventually, the current denomination of Tortoreto came into common use.


Climate data for Tortoreto. Temperature, precipitation, humidity and sun (last 30 years).
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 11
Average low °C (°F) 2
Average precipitation mm (inches) 55
Average relative humidity (%) 74 73 72 71 72 70 69 71 72 75 76 76 72.6
Mean daily sunshine hours 3 4 5 6 8 9 10 9 7 6 4 3 6.2


The clock tower, built in 1886 on top of the medieval tower in the old town.

Main sights


Tortoreto city council after 2014 elections[5]
Civic list Tortoreto sempre (centre-right)11 (0)
Civic list Tortoreto nel cuore (centre-left)4 (−1)
Five Star Movement 1 (+1)
Total 16

Since 1995, the mayor of Tortoreto has been directly elected, along with a list of councillors which would constitute the mayor's majority within the city council.

Before then and in post-war era, only the council was elected, and the Christian Democracy used to be the most successful and popular party locally as well as regionwide and nationwide.

2014 elections

The latest local elections in Tortoreto have been held in 2014. Although losing almost 20% of votes in comparison with the predecessor and the same supporting municipal list five years earlier, the centre-right mayoral candidate and her civic list were still able to win a 46.67% share of votes and to retain a majority of council seats. The centre-left municipal list won 35.61% of votes and the Five Star Movement 17.71%.


In Tortoreto there are two state primary schools and two state middle schools,[6] which are overall attended by about 680 students,[7] as well as a number of state and private child care institutions and nursery schools.

There are also two private vocational secondary schools.


Tourism and fishing

Promenade in Tortoreto Lido.

During summer season the main economic activity is tourism.

Its geographic position, climate, facilities and environmental projects, have all been planned or used to further tourism. Tortoreto has been awarded the European Blue Flag in 1992 and, then, from 1998 until 2015.

Fishing was a common activity in Tortoreto before tourism and it continues on a smaller scale to the present. Another common activity was farming with the area producing substantial amounts of olive oil and wheat.


The area around Tortoreto, Teramo Province, is famous for arrosticini ("rustelle" or "arrustelle" in the local dialects) and chitarra e pallottini.

Arrosticini are made from small pieces of skewered castrated sheep's meat (mutton). It is cooked on a rectangular charcoal grill, called "canala" because its shape is similar to a canal or channel. Arrosticini, a similar kebob, may be made from any mixture of meats.

Traditional chitarra is a hand cut pasta made by rolling the pasta flat and thin and then using a device that resembles a guitar, hence the name, to cut the pasta. The noodles are much like flat spaghetti. The "Chitarra con le pallottine" is chitarra served with a tomato sauce with very small meatballs.

Chitarra e pallottini has been recently object of a dispute between Piedmont and Abruzzo. While Piedmont claims the paternity of the dish as an early 20th-century one, third party studies determined that people from Abruzzo were using small meatballs in the early 18th century. However, a recent study conducted by Gian Maria Pautasso, Italian expert in gastronomic archaeology, has identified evidence of the Northern paternity of this dish in a very ancient culinary book produced in 1344 by a monk from the Abbazia of San Colombano di Bobbio located in the South of Piedmont. Pautasso explains in a recent book that, "At that time, there were no tomatoes in Europe but, as they were doing in the "brodera" (typical dish made of rice and pork's blood) they used to mix the meatballs with pork's blood."

International relations

Tortoreto is twinned with:


  1. ISTAT data.
  2. See Leo of Ostia, Chronicon monasterii Casinensis.
  3. Niccola Palma, Storia ecclesiastica e civile della regione più settentrionale del Regno di Napoli – detta dagli antichi Praetutium, ne' bassi tempi Aprutium – oggi città di Teramo e Diocesi Aprutina, volume I, Ubaldo Angeletti Stampatore dell'Intendenza, Teramo 1834, pp. 16–22.
  4. "Data from the Pescara Airport Meteorological Station". Retrieved 12 June 2015.
  5. "Election results for the Comune of Tortoreto" (in Italian). Retrieved 13 June 2015.
  6. "Scuole di Tortoreto" (in Italian). 2015. Retrieved 12 June 2015.
  7. "L'istituto e il territorio" (in Italian). Istituto Comprensivo di Tortoreto. 2015. Retrieved 12 June 2015.
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