In 1095 Pescara was a fishing village enriched with monuments and churches. In 1140 Roger of Sicily conquered the town, giving rise to a period in which it was destroyed by armies ravaging the Kingdom of Sicily. The name of Piscaria ("abounding with fish") is mentioned for the first time in this period. Several seignors ruled over Pescara afterwards, including Rainaldo Orsini, Louis of Savoy and Francesco del Borgo, the vicar of king Ladislaus of Naples, who had the fortress and the tower built. In the following years Pescara was repeatedly attacked by the Venetians, and later, as part of the Spanish Kingdom of Naples, it was turned into a massive fortress. In 1566 it was besieged by 105 Turk galleys. It resisted fiercely and the Ottomans only managed to ravage the surrounding territory.
At the beginning of the 18th century Pescara had some 3,000 inhabitants, half of them living in the Castellammare. In 1707 it was attacked by Austrian troops under the command of the Count of Wallis. The town resisted for two months before capitulating.
Pescara was always part of the Kingdom of Naples, apart from the brief age of the Republic of Naples of 1798–99. In 1800 Pescara fell to French troops, becoming an important military stronghold of Joseph Bonaparte's reign. Castellammare, which now had 3,000 inhabitants of its own, became a separate municipality.
In 1814, Pescara's Carboneria revolted against Joachim Murat. On 15 May 1815, the king undersigned one of the first constitutions of the Italian Risorgimento. In the following years Pescara became a symbol of the Bourbon's violent restoration as it housed one of the most notorious Bourbon jails. After a devastating flood in 1853, Pescara was liberated by Giuseppe Garibaldi's collaborator Clemente De Caesaris in 1860. Seven years later the fortress was dismantled.
In the sixty following years Pescara was included in the Province of Chieti and then merged with the adjacent town of Castellammare Adriatico and eventually became the largest city of its region. The new city received a hard blow during World War II and has since been massively rebuilt, becoming a very modern coastal city of Italy.