Ancona is the capital of the Italian region called the Marches. It is an important port city on the coast of the Adriatic Sea. A part of its medieval center was bombed during World War II, but it is still full of ancient monuments and squares. Its medieval cathedral is set on the mountain overlooking at the gulf of Ancona and it is well worth a look. The ancient roman Trajan Arch is on the docks of the port. There is also a loved Memorial of the First World War (built during Fascism) on the waterfront. The city offers glorious vistas, on a coastline that extends from Pesaro, with mainly flat sandy beaches, to Mount Conero, with its rocky coast. The popular resort of Portonovo is at the Mount's base.
Ferries are cheap and go regularly between various places by the coast.
The instructions for ferry passengers are worth a read. You must first check-in at the ticket office for the international ferries. You must present your ticket or reservation number, the travel documents for each member of your party, and documents for your auto (if you are taking it on the ferry). They will give you instructions for when and where to board. Boarding usually starts 2-3 hours before departure. Take the free bus line 20, which loops to the two ferry docks every 15-20 minutes, in the summer season only. Or, walk 15-20 minutes.
- 1 Ticket office, Ancona Maritime Terminal (Biglietteria marittima terminal Ancona), Via Enrico Mattei, 6. This building has check-in desks for the various ferry companies, a decent cafe, an overpriced restaurant, and dirty toilets. Check in here first, for international ferries. Then follow instructions to report to your ship. The car park is large, so car drivers may be asked to wait here instead of at the port until the designated time to report for boarding. This location is about 1.4km (1 mile) from the ferry dock.
- 2 Port of Ancona (Porto di Ancona). This is the official location of the port, and of the pier where the international ferries load cars and passengers.
The following international routes are serviced by car ferries. (See also "Adriatic Sea" in Ferries in the Mediterranean.)
- Split - Ancona (Jadronlinija, and Snav from April–October; the Blue Line ferry ceased operations)
- Rijeka - Zadar - Split - Hvar - Korčula - Dubrovnik - Bari
- Korčula - Hvar - Split - Ancona
- Zadar - Ancona
- Zadar - Dugi otok - Ancona
- Dubrovnik - Bari - Dubrovnik
- Patras - Ancona - Patras
- Igoumenitsa - Ancona - Igoumenitsa
- Patras - Igoumenitsa - Ancona - Igoumenitsa - Patras
Be aware that the central train station has two sets of lines, and "Platform 2 Ovest" is NOT THE SAME "as Platform 2".
- 3 Ancona railway station (Stazione di Ancona, Ancona Centrale), Piazza Carlo e Nello Rosselli.
Airlines servicing this airport are limited:
- Lufthansa: Munich
- Ryanair: Brussel-Charleroi, London-Stansted, Trapani, Dusseldorf-Weeze
- Volotea: Cagliari, Catania
- Vueling: Barcelona
The airport is accessible from the city through the bus and train service:
- Train: The nearest station is called Castelferretti and the train also goes to Ancona Station
- Bus: Raffaello bus serves the Falconara Maritima - Ancona route. The bus cost 5.5 EUR and can be purchased on board. The bus can be taken from Piazza Cavour, Piazza Kennedy, Ancona Central Train Station and Ancona Torrete Train Station.
- Conerobus. Bus service in and around Ancona is provided by Conerobus. Bus 1/4 runs from the train station to the centre of town a few times an hour. Bus 12 runs from the train station to the ferry ticket office, but only once daily, at 14:05h. Tickets can be purchased from the ticket machines at some stations, or usually on the bus itself for 2€. The machines accept card (some) or coins, but do not give change.
- Line 20 Ferry shuttle. During the summer months, the Dorica Port Services company runs a shuttle bus between the Ticket Office and the ferry docks. The shuttle runs every 15 minutes or so.
Taxis can take you between the airport, train station, ferry ticket office, and town centre. But be careful to check that they are running their meter. Some travellers report being overcharged.
- 1 Ancona Cathedral. Attractive Ancona Cathedral stands on the Guasco hill overlooking the city's port and offers amazing views of Ancona and the Adriatic coast. The wooden roof of the 11th century Cathedral is actually in the shape of an upside-down boat and its most obvious feature is the 12-sided cupola. The Cathedral is actually built on the site of an ancient temple dedicated to Venus and you can still see some of the ruins underneath the church.
- 2 Anfiteatro Romano (Roman Amphitheatre). Ruins of the Roman Amphitheatre; it is also visible from the adjacent park of the old lighthouse.
- 3 Museo archeologico nazionale delle Marche (Archaeology Museum). Tues/Wed 8:30-13:30; Thurs/Fri/Sat 8:30-19:30; Sun 14-19:30. Contains objects from prehistory through the Classical age. 5€, 2€ reduced.
- 4 Mole Vanvitelliana (the Lazzaretto). A pentagonal building on an artificial island, formerly used as a quarantine station, then as a citadel, and now a "tactile museum". You can visit the grounds for free, but have to pay for the individual exhibits, which are seasonal.
- 5 Parco del Cardeto. Beautiful park on the hills close to the city. You gain an amazing view over the city, the harbour and along the coastline of the adriatic sea. No access to the beach from here. free.
- Serenellini's Accordion Factory. Since 1978 "Serenellini" manufactures a wide range of excellent handicrafted accordions, able to satisfy the needs of the student as well as the most demanding professional accordionist. The artisan style of Serenellini's accordion suits to the quality of the product; using only the best Italian raw materials, employing highly experienced craftsmen and adhering to a severe policy of accurate on-line testing up to the final product give rise to the top reliability guarantee of the instrument.
- 1 Pinacoteca Comunale. Ancona's Pinacoteca Comunale (art gallery) is located in Palazzo Bosdari and houses over 100 works by 14th-19th century artists from the Marches and Veneto regions, including Titian and Andrea del Sarto. The top floor of the museum is occupied by the Gallery of Modern Art which contains a large number of works by the late Francesco Podesti and various other contemporary Italian artists.
- 2 Mount Conero & Beaches. Beautiful coastline and beaches lying at the foot of Mount Conero
If you want to quickly go to the rocky beach, you can take, from the train station, bus 1/4 to go to the "Passetto" (€1,20, one way). If you have some more time, you could take the bus to the wooded place of Portonovo (south of Ancona), where the rocky beaches are very nice. This tour requires at least half a day.
- 3 Go for a swim in the Adriatic. From the Monumento ai Caduti, you have to walk down some steps to reach the swimming area. Because the sun sets behind the cliffs, the beach is nicer in the morning.
- 1 Corso Guiseppe Garibaldi. Pedestrian shopping street with typical Italian or international brands.
Around the Piazza del Plebiscito
- 1 La Cantineta, Via Antonio Gramsci, 1. It has a characteristic Marches-style food and drink.
- 2 Pizzeria Del Papa, Corso Giuseppe Mazzini, 600.
- 3 La Piadineria, Piazza Stamira, 4.
- 4 La Mezza Luna Ristorante Pizzeria, Via Guglielmo Oberdan, 29.
- 5 Una Conchiglia Negozio Ristorante, Via S. Martino, 2/4. A makrobiotic restaurant
- 6 WokAway, Via S. Biagio, 7.
Around the train station
- 7 Trattoria Ulderico, Via Terenzio Mamiani, 9. on the waterfront, close to the Mole Vanvitelliana is claimed by some as an excellent as well as budget place to eat fish, but expect relaxed service.
- Ristorante Trattoria La Moretta dal 1897, Piazza del Plebiscito, 52. An open-air place with characteristic Marches-style food and drink. Free Wi-Fi.
- Ristorante Il Giardino, Via Fabio Filzi, 2 / c. along the Viale della Vittoria, has good food and good prices
- Raval, on the Piazza del Plebiscito, is a good place to meet people, drink a great, freshly made cocktail or to eat delicious Italian tapas. +39 071 2320951 Free Wi-Fi.
- 'Bar Torino (corso Garibaldi), Tazza d'Oro (corso Mazzini) and Caffè Giuliani (corso Garibaldi) are great for driks and appetizers.
Most of the things to see or do are in the city center. Ancona is very hilly, so the surrounding neighborhoods are not always easily connected by bus, so it is better to stay in the center.
- NH Jolly Ancona, Rupi di Via XXIX Settembre, 14 (In front of the Lazzaretto or Mole Vanvitelliana), ☏ .
- Ostello della Gioventu, Via Lamaticci. Check-in: 16:30, check-out: 11:30. Private hostel very close to the central station. Pro: Free Wi-Fi. Con: Closed between 11:30 and 16:30. Also closed between midnight and 6:30. So you have to return early if you go to a party. €18/person/night.
Marche ranked as one of the safest region in Italy. Walking around Ancona even in the night wouldn't be a problem. However, caution has to be exercised moreover in area outside of the centro. Tourist scam is uncommon, as Ancona itself is merely a transit point for the ferry passengers.
The city provides limited free wifi in Piazza Roma and in front of Teatro delle Muse. Connect to Free AnkonNet and follow the instruction.