Ancona, Italy: 10 Points of Interest and Day Trips

Ancona, Italy: 10 Points of Interest and Day Trips

The capital of the Marche region, Ancona is famous for its coastline and cultural beauty. Rich in architecture, churches and breathtaking views, Ancona promises to be one of the perfect places to spend a day out of the ordinary or a weekend exploring some of Italy’s most beautiful cities.

1. What to see in Ancona

Piazza del Plebiscito. Also called Piazza del Pope in honor of Clement VII, who enabled the city to achieve significant economic development in 1700, this is one of the most important areas of the city. Here are the Government Palace and the Civic Tower, which at 12 o’clock plays a motif recognizable to everyone in the city. In the center of the square you can admire the statue of Clement VII.

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1. What to see in Ancona

The Mole of Vanvitelliana. The Mole Vanvitelliana is also known as the Lazzaretto. Characterized by its pentagonal walls and built by Carlo Vanvitelli on behalf of Pope Clement XII, it was originally conceived as a warehouse for goods arriving from the city port, as well as serving as a protection and hospital for all those arriving in the city by sea. Inside it is like a miniature city with a small temple dedicated to San Rocco in the center. Today it hosts several cultural events and is also home to the Homer Tactile Museum, which houses 150 reproductions of masterpieces from ancient Greece to modern paintings.

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1. What to see in Ancona

Podesta City Art Gallery. This small art gallery contains various pictorial testimonies by artists from the Marche and representatives of the Venetian Sucula. Among them are Carlo Crivelli with his Madonna and Child, Lorenzo Lotto with his portrait of Francesco Arcilli and again Sebastiano del Piombo, Orazio Gentileschi, Gvercino, Andrea Lili and Tiano Vechellio, author of perhaps the most important work of the entire collection: the apparition of the Virgin Mary, his first signed work.

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Trajan’s Arch. In the port area is the Arch of Trajan. Built in 100 B.C. by order of the Roman Senate in honor of Emperor Trajan, as a tribute to his works dedicated to the expansion of the port, it was certainly one of the most characteristic architectural works of Ancona. Visible from all the ships approaching the port, the Arch is distinguished from all the others by its decidedly finer form. Today it is a place not to be missed, thanks in part to a renovation done in 2006 that returned it to the whiteness of the past, as well as providing night lighting.

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1. What to see in Ancona

San Siriaco Cathedral. The city’s cathedral, dedicated to San Síriaco, is one of the oldest buildings in the city. Its original core dates back to the 4th century B.C. when the Dorians decided to build a temple dedicated to Venus Eupla, on this promontory overlooking the sea. It was on its ruins that the first San Lorenzo was built, followed by San Siriaco in 1300. In addition to its position overlooking the sea, the cathedral, which contains paintings depicting the Madonna, who seems to have had miraculous powers, is Worthy known for its architecture, which is a fine example of the union of Romanesque and Byzantine styles.

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1. What to see in Ancona

Church of Santa Maria della Piazza. The Church of Santa Maria, located where an ancient early Christian basilica once stood, whose beautiful mosaics on the floor are still visible today, was built in 1100 and is surprising in its structure, perhaps identified with the ancient Church of Santo Stefano: in fact, the original plan was extended by a transept of the same width, which still rises above the church. Of particular value is its façade with a Byzantine bas-relief depicting the Virgin Mary, which came directly from Constantinople.

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1. What to see in Ancona

Passetto. Passetto is a green park overlooking the sea and loved by lovers of long walks and nature. It also becomes the site of nightclubs and all kinds of events. The area, which is also home to the War Memorial, built in 1930 and dedicated to the soldiers of the First World War, consists of two long staircases created by digging a rock. From Passetto you can also take an elevator to the sea.

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1. What to see in Ancona

Parque del Conero. The Parco del Conero is famous for its combination of sea, hills and medieval villages, fundamental to the history of Italy. From Recanati to Loreto, to Castelfidardo and Sirolo, the coast of Conero is also home to the Two Sisters Beach, awarded a Blue Flag and known for its beautiful views for those who choose to visit.

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1. What to see in Ancona

Calamo Fountain. Also known as the Fountain of the Thirteen Cannelles, it was built in 1559 by architect Pellegrino Tibaldi in pure Renaissance style. Consisting of a structure with thirteen gutters, from which it gets its name, and thirteen masks from which water flows, it is one of the things you absolutely cannot miss in the city.

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1. What to see in Ancona

Merchants’ Loggia. The Loggia of the Merchants, with its Venetian floral-gothic facade, was designed by architect Giorgio Orsini da Sebenico. Built in the mid-fifteenth century, it was intended to be a place for the exchange of goods and trade. The four statues on the facade can still be seen today, representing hope, fortress, justice, and mercy.

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1. What to see in Ancona

2. Ancona itinerary in one day

Whether you arrive in the morning by car or take public transportation, the best starting point to start your tour is Ancona Station . After a hearty breakfast at the Four Roses Bar, the first landmark you’ll encounter as you head toward the coast is the Mole Vanvitelliana, the ancient seat of the city hospital. From here, continuing along via della loggia, you will find the loggia of the merchants, dedicated to the activity that allowed the city to develop: trade by sea. A stone’s throw away is the church of Santa Maria della Piazza, right in front of the port.

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In the afternoon – after recuperating with a delicious lunch at the Osteria del Pozzo, head north, where you will first find the Arch of Trajan and then the Cathedral of San Siriaco, across several parallels. From the cathedral you can easily return to the historic center and head west towards Piazza del Plebiscito and the Fontana del Calamo.

After a day of wandering, take a break and enjoy a delicious dinner at Pizzeria Passetto, which, thanks to its location, will allow you to continue the evening with a relaxing stroll along the promenade by the most famous beach of Ancona, Passetto.

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