Ascoli Piceno surprises every tourist with its architectural worth and Renaissance beauty characterised by bright white travertine stone. It still has several noble and bell towers, leading to it being referred to as the “City of a hundred towers”. The historic centre boasts the Renaissance Piazza del Popolo, regarded as one of the most beautiful squares in Italy.
Main points of interest
The central Piazza del Popolo is one of the most beautiful squares in Italy and comes alive with local and historic cafes such as Caffè Meletti, a must stop for breakfast or an aperitif on a journey through time.
The Cathedral of Sant’Emidio, which stands with its grandeur on Piazza Arringo, has a long history: originally a Roman pagan temple, it was converted into the shape of a Latin cross in the 5th century; an octagonal dome was added in the 8th century, towers in the 12th century and a new façade in the 16th century. Its great treasure is the magnificent altarpiece: a polyptych by Carlo Crivelli dated 1473, the only one still intact and in its original location. Piazza Arringo is also home to the Civic Art Gallery, a treasure trove of artistic masterpieces and the Archaeological Museum, which tells the story of the city through the centuries, from the era of the Picenes.
The Church of San Francesco, whose apse overlooks the Piazza del Popolo, is part of a large Franciscan complex that includes two cloisters and Gothic decorations.
There are many beautiful churches and buildings to see, the noble towers that typify Ascoli, some dating back to the 9th century, and the recently restored Forte Malatesta.
You can then walk through the historic centre and its impressive ancient streets, up to Piazza San Tommaso, home to the Museum of Ceramics, a veritable local artistic tradition.
How to get there
Ascoli Piceno is about 20 minutes by car from Borgo Storico Seghetti Panichi, along the Salaria road or the highway towards Ascoli Piceno.