Ascoli Piceno Medieval City
Ascoli Piceno is a beautiful medieval city in the Marche region, considered among the most monumental in Italy. Dotted with towers and bell towers and wrapped in the warm golden color of travertine, which covers almost the entire historic center, the town is surrounded on three sides by the water of the Tronto and Castellano rivers, which flow here. The history, in this part of the Marche regards above all the Middle Ages and Ascoli Piceno, preserves its trace in the beautiful architecture. Ancient capital of the Piceni, conquered by the Romans with the whole region in 286 BC. C., the city has long been dominated by the barbarians, the Franks, Frederick II and Francesco Sforza who established a cruel dictatorship until 1482. It is said that Alaric, King of the Visigoths, fascinated by its beauty and aware of its strategic importance, did not want to raze it to the ground, as it did for other cities. Together with Fermo it was the capital of the Marches until 1860. The historic center of Ascoli Piceno is full of medieval civil and religious buildings. Magnificent Piazza del Popolo overlooked by some of the most important places including Palazzo dei Capitani del Popolo (13th century), the historic Caffè Meletti, the church of San Francesco (13th-16th century) and the Loggia dei Mercanti. Also worth seeing is Piazza Arringo, the oldest in Ascoli, where there is the baptistery of San Giovanni, the cathedral of Sant'Emidio - cathedral of the city, dedicated to the patron saint - the Episcopal palace and the Arengo palace, home of the art gallery civic. Finally, the churches of Santi Vincenzo and Anastasio (XI-XIV century) are characteristic, with the façade divided into squares and that of Sant’Emidio alle Grotte (XVIII century). Ascoli Piceno is a city to be experienced, walking in its medieval heart where the most beautiful Renaissance squares of the Marche open up and in the streets that still respect the layout of the ancient Roman streets. Absolutely inevitable, then, an aperitif under the arcades, in cafes and pastry shops, thus tasting the irresistible stuffed olives, a masterpiece of Ascoli gastronomy. Who goes to Ascoli Piceno on the first Sunday of August can attend the famous Quintana chivalric tournament: a long parade in 15th century costume by the inhabitants of the sestieri into which the city is divided.