Ascoli Piceno is not the first town you decide to visit when planning to spend a vacation in Italy. But why you should add it to your list? In fact, Ascoli is one of the most underrated towns in Italy. But also, one of the most diverse places in the country. Its numerous castles, fortresses, and Roman architecture make it one of the best-hidden gems. Here are some of the most interesting facts about this town.
The rich history of Ascoli Piceno
Many people know Ascoli Piceno as the city of the 100 towers. It was founded by the Italian population Piceni several centuries before Rome.
According to historical records it once had more than 200 towers, although today just about 50 of them still stand. That’s enough to allow you to enjoy the charm of the medieval architecture.
We straight away noticed the travertine marble which covers the historic centre. For this reason, people know Ascoli Piceno as the travertine city. The marble comes from the surrounding mountains and is a natural grey limestone. The shiny appearance of the marble has disappeared which is maybe responsible for the breathtaking medieval appearance.
Although it is a large town you can walk all the historic centre on foot. The two main squares are the most stunning sights of Ascoli Piceno.
The oldest square is Piazza Arringo which was the political heart of the town. Many of Acoli’s museums surround the beautiful piazza. There you will find there the Pinacoteca Civica (a public art gallery) which carries work from many artists. You will also find the Diocesan Museum and the State Archeological Museum.
In the same square we found other important buildings. Some of them are the cathedral of St.Emidio, Palazzo Fonzi, Palazzo dell’Aringa, and the baptistry of San Giovanni. You will also have a chance to enjoy the elliptical fountains flanked by seahorses, dragons, and dolphins.
Now it’s time to head over to Piazza del Popolo. The square is one of the best renaissance squares of Italy and was once the location of the old forum, the residence of the captains of the people, and a commercial centre. The piazza is a meeting point for the locals. It has a great atmosphere where you can enjoy a strong cup of coffee. Our recommendation for this is the historic cafe Meletti.
While you are walking through Ascoli Piceno you will be able to see some old towns, the most beautiful are the tower or Ercolani and the tower of San Venanzio.
Going to Ascoli Piceno, Italy, will give you a new perspective of what Italian food is. The city is famous for its speciality olives all’ascolana. They are stuffed with minced meat Ascolana olives. See the full recipe here.
Ascoli Piceno wines have gained a reputation across Italy for their quality, visit wineries, and vineyards with a local guide and taste the most popular like Rosso Piceno. You can also taste their local liqueur the Anisseta Melleti. It comes from the aniseed that is cultivated in Ascoli Piceno.
Events in Ascoli Piceno
If you are in the Province of Ascoli Piceno during the months of July and August you will witness the great medieval experience La Quintana. It is a tournament inspired by the medieval traditions and the six districts of the city compete.
You will witness the historical parade and see costumes that originated from portraits of artists who worked in the town in the 5th century. The parade march along the streets of the historical centre until reaching the stadium where the competition begins.
Are you a spa lover?
If your answer is yes, then head to Acquasanta Therme. It’s about 20 minutes drive from Ascoli Piceno and it’s a great place to take care of your health. The thermal water is beneficial to the body and the hippie traditions say that it’s holy. The good thing is that the thermal springs are natural and free of charge. The water is very warm and pleasant.
So why you should visit Ascoli Piceno?
Ascoli Piceno is one of those cities in Le Marche that people fall in love with from the moment they see it. You will be surprised how many travellers buy a one-way ticket and they choose Ascoli as their new home. With its rich history, great food, friendly people, Ascoli Piceno is the perfect place to discover.
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