What to do in Ancona

Looking at the map and spotting Marche region you can see that Ancona is located right in the middle of the Adriatic coast. This feature makes it an important port for navigation on the Adriatic Sea you can reach by flight or by sea and above all thanks to the ferries. Ancona can be reached by both Croatia and Albania or Greece, but also many other destinations.

From the port you can already see the Arch of Trajan 115 AD, Apollodorus of Damascus, and the Mole Antonelliana built by Vanvitelli in 1733.

duomo_ancona_visto_da_arco_di_traiano

Photo CC-BY-SA Claudio.stanco

On the Colle Guasco, in a position to dominate the city, there is the Cathedral, in Romanesque style showing Byzantine and Gothic influences. It was originally dedicated to St. Lawrence in the fourteenth century., It was dedicated to St. Ciriaco, the patron saint of the Maritime Republic. The Cathedral Museum houses the Roman sarcophagus of Gorgonio belonging to the fourth century.

In the National Archaeological Museum you can admired objects of Roman, Greek and Etruscan civilisation coming from the Iron age.

The Church of Santa Maria della Piazza is Romanesque and it was built in the eleventh century on top of the two previous churches respectively from V and VII centuries.

The Church of San Francesco delle Scale dates back to 1323 – it has been restored after 1972. The church has a beautiful Gothic-Venetian portal made in marble.
The Church of St. Dominic dates back to the eighteenth century and houses a marvellous work of Titian called the “Crucifixion.”

The Government House dates back as well around the fourteenth century. It was enlarged by Francesco di Giorgio Martini. Next to the Palace there is also the Civic Tower.

The coast of Ancona is full of beautiful sandy beaches. Heading towards south, a few kilometers from the city, there is the Conero promontory with its rocky outcrop. It interrupts the long line of well-lined beaches. Mount Conero overlooks the Adriatic Sea from a height of 572 m. The promontory offers a very picturesque landscape; in 1987, to preserve its heritage of flora and fauna, it was established here the Regional Park of Monte Conero. The symbols of the Conero are the stacks of the Two Sisters; near the stacks, there is the small village of Portonovo developed around the fortress which was erected in 1810 by Eugene de Beauharnais. Near the Napoleonic fortress, there is the Romanesque church of Santa Maria di Portonovo, from the eleventh century, mentioned by Dante in the twenty-first canto of Paradise.

Still not far from Ancona, and more specifically 25 km far from the town, there is the Sanctuary of the Holy House of Loreto, dedicated to Our Lady. According to popular tradition, the house of Mary of Nazareth was moved by the angels first on the Trsat Hill and then on the hill of Loreto. Here it was built the shrine which is visited daily by countless devotees, but not only, as there are many works of great artists to be admired. Construction began in 1468 and continued in the following centuries, with the intervention of great men such as, for example, Giuliano da Sangallo, Bramante and Andrea Sansovino.
Its original part is clearly Gothic, while the later ones are Renaissance and Baroque. Next to the monumental basilica you can visit the Treasure Room. Opposite the Sanctuary you will find the Apostolic Palace, headquarters of the Historical Archives and Museum and Gallery.

Whether you decide to stay and explore the city-centre in Ancona, or you decide to visit the surroundings, stopping in the picturesque places located on the coast or in the striking hill villages, you must try the local specialties and especially the excellent local wines such as the Rosso Conero or Bianchello Metauro together with some tasty local cheese and salami or some savoury meat enriched by a formidable truffle flavour!

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