Marche, a region located between Tuscany and Umbria, and the Adriatic Coast, is a perfect example, as in a relatively small area you can find almost everything Italy is famous for. Amazing monuments, beautiful beaches, charming small towns, breathtaking views, undulating hills, and high mountains, as well as excellent cuisine and wine, make this area an ideal place to spend your vacation. In today’s article, I’m taking you to the city of Ancona, the capital of Marche, thus beginning a series of articles about attractions of the region.
Ancona the capital of the Marche region
Marche is the jewel of central Italy, which although offers a long list of attractions, monuments and natural and landscape values, isn’t a popular travel destination for Polish lovers of Italy. Most visitors tempted by beautiful beaches on the Adriatic are limited to learning the advantages of the coast, but Marche is much more. We’ve here charming hills, vineyards, and small stone towns, beautiful mountains of the Monti Sibillini National Park in the three southern provinces of Macerata, Fermo, Ascoli Piceno. We’ve fantastic beaches, cuisine, wine, and people. Marche is a region that remains in the shadow of the famous neighbor of Tuscany and the second, less known, but also very popular Umbria. In November 2018 I went to Marche at the invitation of people responsible for the promotion of the region, to see the monuments, nature and taste the cuisine and local drinks, and then tell you about it. This post is the first in a series of articles about Marche, of which I hope you’ll benefit during the coming long weekends and holidays.
How to get to Marche by plane?
There is a small airport in Ancona, but the network of connections isn’t too rich. There’s no direct carrier coming from Poland to Ancona, but there are, among others, Lufthansa from Munich, for which, for example, planes fly from Poznań and many more. From low-cost airlines to Ankona Volotea isn’t very popular: from Catania and Palermo in Sicily and from Cagliari in Sardinia. How to get directly from Poland? The most obvious seems to be the flight to Bologna, especially since this destination operates the airline Ryanair. Flights are frequent and reasonably priced. The cons is the distance between Bologna and Ancona, which is 200 km in a straight line. From the airport, you can drive to the central station in Bologna, after two or almost three hours, get off in the beautiful capital of Marche. Railway ticket prices start at less than 25 euros for the fast Frecciarossa train and 16.90 euros for Regionale Veloce – accelerated train, travel this route in less than three hours. There’s also the possibility of a flight between Warsaw Modlin – Pescara (neighboring Abruzzo) and Kraków – Pescara. From Krakow, flights to Pescara begin at the beginning of April and in 2019 will take place on Mondays, departure at 16:20, arriving is scheduled for 18:20. Monday return flight on the Pescara – Krakow route is scheduled at 18:35 with arrival at 20:25. Friday’s departure from Poland is planned for 15:20 arriving in Pescara after less than two hours, at 17:10. The return flight to the country that day is planned by the carrier at 13:05, arriving in Krakow at 14:55. From Abruzzo International Airport, take the train to Pescara Station to get off in Ancona after seventy minutes. The cost of traveling on the Frecciabianca line starts from less than 10 euros per person. The regional train time travel is two hours, we will travel this route for 11.10 euros – it’is a regular tariff, without discounts. As you can see, it’s worth hunting for faster trains in Italy, which you can read more about in the posts:
To Ancona and Marche by car from Poland
The distance from Ancona to the capital of our country is 1100 km in a straight line, which translates into a 1644 km long route through the Czech Republic and Austria (sometimes on roads other than motorways) and 1850 km through Germany and Austria route through Dresden, Munich, and Bologna. This both roadsare more less similarly, although Google Maps prefers a solution through the Czech Republic. I’ll add that everything depends on traffic on transfer routes in Austria and traffic jams during rush hour. I omit the additional cost of vignette in the Czech Republic, becouse soon also Germany will introduce vignettes for vehicles up to 3.5t. The route in both cases is picturesque but long enough, that you need a night’s stay along the way.
Ancona in the past. A few words about the history of the city
Piazza Cavour, Ancona
The history of the settlement in Marche dates back to the eleventh century BC when the Picenes people settled on the territory lying between the rivers Foglia and Aterno. The settlers living in these lands at the beginning of colonization were not only farmers and fishermen, but also warriors wanted to expand their territory to coastal land areas. The very beginning of the city of Ancona is 387 years BC. It was this year that the Dorians of Syracuse in Sicily founded a settlement called Ἀγκών (Ancon), or elbow, which was supposed to reflect the shape of a promontory that protected this part of the land from the sea. In subsequent years, the area adjacent to Ancona was ruled by Romans, until 410 AD, when Alaric I invaded these lands and destroyed the Roman cities located nearby: Aesis – present Jesi and Auximum – present Osimo. It’s worth noting that in 1194 in the city of Jesi Fryderyk II Hohenstaufen was born – known as Fryderyk I – the king of Sicily from 1198, from 1212 as Frederick the VII Prince of Swabia, and above all from 1220 the Holy Roman Emperor and King of Jerusalem. It’s from here in 1208 Saint. Francis sailed out to convert the Orient. It’s from here, or rather from the town of Senigallia, lying 25 km north, Giovanni Maria Mastai Ferretti better known as Pope Pius IX, had been descended on the throne of Peter since 1846.
Walk around the historic center of Ancona
Ancona is a port city of great importance, not only in the region but throughout Italy. Huge transport vessels and passenger ferries that can be crossed, among others to Croatia and Greece, they are perfectly visible in the port docks. Many who come to Ancona go straight to the port, to a ferry, and this in my opinion is a mistake. The beautiful old town, clean and tidy, historic buildings, delightful cathedral and excellent gastronomic offer are the reasons why I’ll encourage you to visit Ancona for a few hours and easily cross the streets of the old town. I’ve listed the schematic map of the old city below. You absolutely cannot miss the Piazza del Plebiscito (also called Piazza del Papa), a rectangular, surrounded by beautiful palaces, with the church of San Domenico, whose main altar contains the “Crucifixion” of Titian. Here, I also suggest you a seat for a delicious meal, more on this later. The beautiful Via Antonio Gramsci leads to the piazza, behind the square going further along Via Ciriaco Pizzecolli, which is worth going to Piazza Benvenuto, where you’ll find the impressive Chiesa del Santissimo Nome di Gesù. A very interesting luxury of Ancona is the Tredici Cannelle fountain, a former drinking water collection point in the form of a stone basin with thirteen decorative heads “spitting” water.
Corso Garibaldi, Ancona
Fontanna Tredici Cannelle, Ancona
Fontana del Calamo, Piazza Roma, Ancona
Teatro delle Muse on Piazza Repubblica
Piazza del Plebiscito
Church San Francesco delle Scale, Piazza San Francesco, Ancona
Palazzo del Governo, Piazza del Plebiscito, Ancona
Palazzo del Governo, Piazza del Plebiscito, Ancona
Piazza Plebiscito, Ancona
Piazza Plebiscito, Ancona
Old Ancona. Duomo di San Ciriaco – cathedral on the hill
Cathedral dedicated to Saint Cyriacus in Ancona is one of the most important medieval churches located in the Marche region, with Byzantine and Gothic elements embedded in the Romanesque facade. The church on the plan of the Greek cross was raised in a place demolished by the earthquake of 558 of the Temple of Aphrodite. In the middle, we’ll see the main nave and two aisles. The interior is divided into two rows of columns with decorated heads. The Chapel of the Madonna and the Chapel of the SS Crocifisso are located in the side wings of the cathedral. The cathedral inside is austere and minimalist, giving the possibility of inner silence and focus on prayer. The enchanting facade is a style far from the churches known from Tuscany, more like the architecture from the opposite shore of the Adriatic. Be sure to look at the two lions sculpted from the red marble, which are the supports of the columns.
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° 📌 Lwy z czerwonego marmuru na wejściu do katedry w Anconie 🦁 . 🌍 @marchetourism, Marche, Italia ° 📷 @italia_by_natalia 📆 November 2018 Tag #italiabynatalia 💻 www.italia-by-natalia.pl 💻 www.italia-by-natalia.pl/en 📱Facebook.com/italiabynatalia ° #marcheturism #visitmarche #marchewine #polishbloggers #marche_super_pics #instamarche #ancona #travelstory #exploreitaly #travelislife #travelpassion #travelgramitalia #traveltoitaly #travelsoul #travelpost #amazingitaly #italiainunoscatto #italiait #italiabella #italia365 #dreamingtravel #italy_ig #italy_creative_pictures #best_italiansites #instaitaly_picture #europetravel #włochy #wlochy🇮🇹 #italianlandscapes
Please note the above photo. This view stretches out from the cathedral, but the point isn’t the view. At the foot of the belfry is the monument to John Paul II, commemorating the visit of the Holy Father in Ancona. Below are the views that can be seen from the hill, next to the cathedral, to the harbor, the shipyard, and the coast.
Where to go to the beaches near Ancona? Riviera del Conero
Riviera del Conero is a stunning coastal strip extending from Ancona to the south, to Marcelli. High, white cliffs, forests, azure sea and picturesque beaches that usually require going down, and then approaching the hill, attract crowds of tourists every summer. In the photo above, the Urbani beach in the town of Sirolo.
Where to eat in Ancona? La Moretta
Well-known for over one hundred years, Antica Tipica Trattoria La Moretta, opened in 1897, is considered the best place in Ancona. Specializes in fish and seafood, but also eat here excellent meat dishes, pasta, ravioli, and risotto, sipping regional Marche wine. The interior is very stylish, on the outside, a few tables offer a meal surrounded by the historic buildings of Piazza del Papa.
Where to sleep in the vicinity of Ancona? Villa Gens Camuria
Nicely located surrounded by greenery, with a swimming pool and rooms – some of which offer terraces, Villa Gens Camuria is located in Camerano, just 10 km south-west of Ancona. It’s a perfect location also for visiting the Conero Park and other Marche attractions. I stayed here in November 2018. The service is very nice and helpful, the agritourism has a restaurant, and some rooms have kitchenettes. My room on the ground floor was composed of two rooms, clean and very comfortable.
Overnight in Marche – B & B Sotto le Palme
B&B Sotto le Palme, located just a few kilometers from the beaches of the Fermo Province, is a cozy proposition for people who like to stay with our compatriots offering accommodation in Italy. This place was created by Ania just last year, shortly after she moved to Italy. Guest rooms are located in a high standard apartment. The apartment was put into use for the first time in June last year, it has never been inhabited before. In each of the wooden windows is mounted insect screen and wooden external blinds, the floors are finished in marble in the common areas and ceramics in the rooms. The apartment is located on the first floor, its area available to guests is about 150 square meters, including balconies and terraces. There are 3 rooms for the guests, two bathrooms (in one bath, shower, and washbasin in the other two sinks, shower and washing machine, in both bidet, toilet and hairdryer), a shared living room, a large terrace with a view of the palm trees, the kitchen is fully function of the dining room, where breakfast is served. In addition, the apartment has an iron and ironing board. More information:
B&B Sotto le Palme
via Lungo Chienti, Sant’Elpidio a Mare 63811
Provincia Fermo, Marche, Italia
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Photo at the beginning of the article © Mariano Pallottini
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All the best
The article was created in cooperation with the Marche region