Located in central Italy, Pescara has an important role on the Adriatic coast and the Abruzzo region inland. It is an important service sector hub, with an airport, two motorways (north-south and east-west), the logistics platform of the Manoppello Interport, the commercial port of Ortona and the marina of Pescara. Though it is not the capital of Abruzzo, it is the largest municipality by population (123,000), the most densely populated city (3,660 inhabitants/km²) and the area with the highest per capita income (€12,716).
Pescara’s economy has long been based on trade and services. Industry was introduced to the region in the wake of major infrastructure investments made during the 60s from the famous ‘Cassa per il Mezzogiorno’ (Fund for the South). However, structural changes in the global economy and the recent crisis have reduced that industrial activity. Pescara has once again become an ‘Emporium City’, specialising in local agricultural produce such as wine, olive oil and cheese, along with tourism in the coastal area during the summer months.
There has also been a substantial change in the urban structure, with the development of major out-of-town shopping centres, an increase in private traffic, the depopulation of villages and the gradual extinction of small local businesses. It has generated a substantial dependence, especially in employment terms, on multinational corporations. This dependence has not produced an increase in real income but, on the contrary, has created a workforce that is poorly skilled and poorly paid. Though the local population is declining, immigration has led to an overall increase in population.