The Italian coast washed by the Adriatic Sea, the sea that represents the eastern part, 800 kilometers long and 150 kilometers wide, of the Mediterranean, extends from the Gulf of Venice to the Otranto channel. The Adriatic coast is therefore the whole coastal side of Italy that is bathed by the three basins that derive from the geographical division of the sea: Upper Adriatic, Middle Adriatic and Lower Adriatic.
The Upper Adriatic, also known as the Northern Adriatic, along the Italian coast has low and sandy bottoms, with lagoon stretches. On the initial part, the Veneto and Friuli-Venezia Giulia regions overlook. This is the Gulf of Venice, which also includes the Gulf of Trieste, with the Vallone di Muggia and the Gulf of Panzano; followed by the lagoons of Grado, Marano, Caorle and the Venetian Lagoon; then there is the Po Delta, the Gulf of Ravenna and Rimini, the promontory of Monte San Bartolo, the Gulf of Ancona and the Conero promontory. The most important coasts of this stretch of coast are the Veneto-Friuli Riviera, the Romagna Riviera and the Conero Riviera.
The Middle Adriatic, also known as the central Adriatic, on the other hand, represents the coastal area of the Marche, Abruzzo and Molise. It begins at the Monte San Bartolo Regional Natural Park, reaching almost to the base of the Gargano promontory, between Molise and Puglia. The provinces bathed by these waters are those of Pesaro, Urbino, Ancona, Macerata, Fermo, Ascoli Piceno, Teramo, Pescara, Chieti and Campobasso. This stretch is characterized, in addition to the Fossa di Pomo (a depression off the coast of Pescara about 250 meters deep), the Gulf of Vasto, the Riviera delle Palme in the southern part of the Marche, the Costa dei Trabocchi on the Abruzzo coast, and from the Costa dei Delfini, the Molise stretch of the Adriatic coast line.
The Lower Adriatic begins with the Gargano promontory, in Puglia, passing through the Gulf of Manfredonia, and extends to the Otranto channel, on the Salento peninsula, where the Ionian Sea begins. The depths of this stretch of sea are quite deep: they can reach up to 1,200 meters. The Province of Foggia, the Province of Bari and the Province of Lecce constitute the coasts bathed by these waters. About ten miles from the Gargano coast is the archipelago of the Tremiti islands. A sea current turns counterclockwise due to the rising of the Ionian, which has a higher salinity.
As for the littoral geography, the northern Adriatic coast has a sandy conformation. The first stretch of coast overlooking the central Adriatic is instead made up of ridges overlooking the sea. After a few kilometers, however, the coast is sandy again, with the coast that at times becomes rocky only in correspondence with the Gargano. All the remaining stretch that overlooks the Lower Adriatic, up to Salento, still offers low coasts and beaches.
The most important Italian ports on the Adriatic coast are, from north to south, Trieste, Venice, Ravenna, Ancona, Ortona, Termoli, Bari, Brindisi. Without forgetting the ports of the Tremiti islands of San Domino and San Nicola, and the ports of Vieste and Rodi Garganico not far from each other.