Ancona is perhaps the most famous port of Italy and a charming town with hills and a unique collection of beautiful buildings that “come alive” before the eyes of thousands of visitors, as the ship approaches the dock.
This special town is only 380 miles away from Corfu and according to Strabo and Pliny it was built in 394 BC by the Syracusans. The original name was "Dorian elbow" (ancon=elbow in Greek) and in ancient times it was famous for its wines and purple dye. Ancona also flourished greatly during the Roman era, when it was the naval base of the Romans.
The glamor of Ancona is reflected even today in the city center with its elegant architecture and beautiful squares. The medieval cathedral of San Ciriaco, the preserved Teatro delle Muse of the 19th century, the gallery of Palazzo Bosdari and the Archaeological museum are just some of them.
Ancona is also famous for its malls with the very good prices for products, branded and not, the picturesque fish taverns and the beautiful cafés. Visit them the next time you find yourself in Ancona and you will remember us!
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When the ship approaches the port of Ancona, one can not but be enchanted by the imposing Arch of Trajan (Arco di Traiano) or otherwise the arch of triumph. It is a an archway erected in 115 BC and served as the main entrance to the city of Ancona. The arch was named after Emperor Trajan, for his contribution to the expansion of the port.
This marble Roman monument, of Corinthian style, is 18.5 meters high, 3 meters wide and its decoration consists mainly of representations and inscriptions. There were also 3 big bronze figures surrounding it, of Emperor Trajan, his wife and his sister, who were removed by the Saracens in 848 AD.
Today, the arch of Trajan is the meeting place of the city and one of the best preserved Roman monuments of the region.
The Bosdari Palace (Palazzo Bosdari) was the family residence of the Bosdari in the 17th century, while it has been operating as a Gallery since 1963 in the memory of the painter Francesco Podesti, born and raised in Ancona. Podesti became known because of his frescoes that adorn the Immacolata hall of the Vatican Museum.
Apart from Podesti’s works, belonging to the period of romanticism, you can admire works of many artists, of the wider area of Marche from the 14th to the 19th centuries.
If you are interested in more modern painters of Italy, Francesco Podesti Gallery features a specially designed area with some of their most important works.
Cardeto Park (Parco del Cardeto) spreads over an area of 35 acres and is the largest park in the Marche region. It is a lung of green in the center of the city of Ancona, rich in natural beauty, and history.
Taking a walk in the park, you can admire, apart from the green and the sea, several monuments of historical importance, such as the Jewish cemetery with the 178 stone monuments dating from the 15th - 19th centuries, the 18th-century lighthouse, the bastion of St. Paul, etc.
Also, Cardeto Park is easily accessible from various points of the city and is ideal for long walks throughout the year.
Mezzavalle Beach is a small paradise in the region of Cornero. The crystal clear waters, the sandy beach and the unique natural landscape make Mezzavalle the first choice for swimming and relaxation during the summer.
Access to the beach is relatively simple. You can visit it by car or bus from Ancona and continue on foot for about 15 minutes. During your descent you will have the opportunity to admire the beautiful scenery surrounding this particular beach.
The National Archaeological Museum of Marche (Museo Archeologico Nazionale delle Marche) is one of the most beautiful areas of Ancona and houses finds from the Stone Age to the Middle Ages.
The museum is included among the most important museums in Italy, as its collections includes finds from 70 old towns of Ancona and the surrounding areas.
In addition to the Museum exhibits, it is worth noticing the building itself, since it is a palace of the 16th century, which is kept in excellent condition. The impressive murals and reliefs that decorate the ceilings and interiors of the Palazzo Ferretti witness the renaissance and baroque influences of the time.
The San Ciriaco Cathedral (Cattedrale di San Ciriaco) in Ancona is one of the oldest and most beautiful architectural masterpieces of Italy. It is said that at the foundation of the church, completed in 1017, there is another older temple of the 3rd century BC dedicated to Aphrodite (Venus). Today, the church is the seat of the Archbishop of Ancona.
It is an imposing building comprising Roman, Byzantine and Gothic style, admired by all visitors for its architectural culture and its particular location.
Climbing the slope, located above the old citadel of the Greek colony of Ancona, the first thing one sees is the dreamy view of the old town and the harbor.
Also, at the back of the church there is the Museum, which exhibits rich religious and cultural artifacts of the region.
If you happen to find the temple gate open, do not miss the opportunity to visit the surrounding areas of this small masterpiece, the church of Santa Maria (Chiesa di Santa Maria della Piazza). The alley at the entrance will lead you to the church and the patio from which you can admire the magnificent scenery that unfolds in front of your eyes.
The church of Santa Maria, which was erected between the 11th and the 12th centuries, is a fine example of the Romanesque style. The interior of the church is home to the statue of Virgin Mary as well as to some mosaics that survived from the early Christian churches that existed in the region.
The Fortress Vanvitelliana (Mole Vanvitelliana) or otherwise Lazzaretto is a pentagon, monumental building in the center of Ancona.
The construction of the fortress began in 1732 by the architect Luigi Vanvitelli and served as hospital for patients infected by the plague.
Today, the Vanvitelliana Fortress with its earthy colors, which differs architecturally from the other buildings in the area, houses two museums with interesting exhibits and various cultural events.
The Vegetable Market (Mercato delle Erbe) was built in 1926 by workers at the shipyards and since then it has been the town's landmark. The unique architecture of the market, in Art Nouveau style, as well as the mosaics of archaeological value found during the reconstruction of the market and kept at the site, are an attraction pole even for locals.
It is worth visiting it and get a taste from the fresh vegetables, fruit, bread, cold cuts and other traditional dishes of the region.