Ancona Tourist Attractions


Ancona, capital of the Marche region and the province of the same name, is picturesquely situated between foothills and the bay on the Italian Adriatic coast.


Piazza della Repubblica

The hub of Ancona's traffic is the Piazza della Repubblica. On its west side is the harbor, an oval basin 800-900m/875-985yd in diameter, the northern part of which is of Roman origin. At the north end of the breakwater is the Roman triumphal arch Arco di Traiano with an inscription recording that it was erected in A.D. 115 in honor of the Emperor Trajan and his wife and sister; to the west is the Arco Clementino (18th century).

Porta Pia

At the south end of the harbor stands the former hospital, built on a pentagonal bastion; adjoining is the Porta Pia (1789). The modern port installations are situated to the northwest.

Town Center

Palazzo de Governo

From the Piazza della Repubblica in Ancona a street on the right leads past the theater (1826) into the elongated Piazza del Plebiscito. In this square stands the Palazzo de Governo (15th century) with the prefecture and, approached by a flight of steps, is the Baroque church of Santa Domenico (18th century); inside can be seen a painting of the crucification of Christ by Titian (1558).

Merchants Hall

To the west of the Palazzo de Governo in Ancona is the Loggia dei Mercanti (exchange), a late Gothic building with a facade by Giorgio Orsini (1451-59). Adjoining stands the beautiful Palazzo Benincasa (15th century).

Church of Santa Maria della Piazza

From the exchange a street on the right leads to the church of Santa Maria della Piazza (tenth century) which was erected in the 13th century on foundations of two fifth/sixth century churches. It has an over- decorated façade (1210). Inside, the remains of the sixth century floor have been let into the wall.

Church of San Francesco delle Scale

In the Piazza San Francesco, is the church of San Francesco alle Scale with a Gothic doorway by Giorgio Orsini (1454). Note the "Assunta" by Lorenzo Lotto.

Pinacoteca Comunale

From the Piazza San Francesco the Via Pizzecolli runs north to the church of del Gesù (18th century) and the Palazzo Bosdari (1550), which houses the Pinacoteca Comunale (municipal picture collection). It contains work by Titian, Lotto, Crivelli and other masterpieces. In the modern art section are works by present-day Italian painters.
Address: Via Pizzecolli 17, I-60100 Ancona, Italy

National Museum of the Marches

The Palazzo Ferretti (16th century) in Ancona houses the Museo Nazionale delle Marche (state-run museum of the Marche region) with prehistoric and Roman material of the Marche region, particularly finds of tombs, such as vases, etc.
Address: Palazzo Ferretti, Via Ferretti 6, I-60100 Ancona, Italy


From the museum in Ancona a walk up a flight of steps or a drive up a winding panoramic road, built after the destruction of the harbor district, leads to the top of Monte Guasco, on which stands the cathedral, built on the site of a temple of Venus. The domed cruciform church in Byzantine-Romanesque style (12th century) is dedicated to San Ciriaco. The façade has a Gothic doorway, which is decorated with reliefs. In the crypt are the remains of an early Christian church (sixth century) and a temple (third century B.C.).

Museo Diocesano

The diocesan museum in Ancona is housed in a building to the left of the cathedral. Notable is the early Christian sarcophagus with carved decoration belonging to Flavius Gorgonius, a praetorian prefect (fourth century).
Address: Piazza Duomo 9, I-60121 Ancona, Italy



Numana, Italy

A drive southwards on the coast road leads to the church of Santa Maria di Portonovo (11th century) and to Monte Conero (572m/1,888ft) from which there are extensive views. From there the road continues to the picturesque village of Sirolo and the little seaside resort of Numana.

Loreto, Italy

The little town of Loreto lies on a hill near the Adriatic Sea, some 20 km/13 mi south of Ancona. Since the 14th century it has been Italy's second most important place of pilgrimage after Rome.
According to legend the Virgin's house in Nazareth, the Santa Casa, was transported by angels to Trsat near Rijeka (Fiume) in the former Yugoslavia in 1291, then in 1294 to a "laurel wood" (lauretium) at Recanati and in 1295 to its present site in Loreto. In 1586 Pope Sixtus V gave the town a municipal charter and the right to build walls. Since 1920 the Madonna of Loreto has been the patroness of airmen.

Santuario della Santa Casa in Loreto

In the Piazza della Madonna in Loreto, with a beautiful 17th century fountain, stands the Santuario della Santa Casa, a Gothic hall-church with a fortress-like exterior begun in 1468 under Pope Paul II and continued in 1479-86 by the Florentine Giuliano da Maiano; the dome dates from 1500. The handsome facade, showing influence of Late Renaissance, was added in 1583-87. The three bronze doors are decorated with figures and bas reliefs. A bronze statue of Pope Sixtus V stands on the left in front of the facade.
The interior of the church was altered from 1526 onwards. To the left of the entrance is a beautiful font (1607). Adjoining the south transept are the two sacristies, with celebrated wall paintings: on the right frescoes by Melozzo da Forli (1438-94), on the left much restored frescoes by Luca Signorelli and an assistant together with a marble fountain by Maiano. In the choir apse ("Capella dei Tedeschi") are paintings by Ludwig Seitz (1893-1908).

Santa Casa

In the center of the Santuario della Santa Casa, under the dome, is the Santa Casa, a simple brick building (4.2m/13.75ft high, 8.8m/9.5yds long, 3.9m/4.25yds wide) surrounded by a high marble screen designed by Bramante (16th century). On the walls are scenes of the life of the Madonna and of the transportation of the Santa Casa to Loreto.

Palazzo Apostolico

Opposite the Santuario, in Piazza della Madonna is the Palazzo Apostolico, with a picture collection, tapestries (from designs by Raphael) and majolica from Urbino.
Address: Via della Madonna, I-60026 Loreto, Italy

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