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Ascoli Piceno is a city in the southern end of Marche about 25 km from the Adriatic coast. Population: 90,000.


Around the 8th-7th centuries BC, the legend says that a tribe of Etruscan people named Sabines (Sabini), following a sacred bird named picchio, found this natural fortification at the confluence of the rivers Tronto and Castellano and built a village named Piceni.

Later, the Sabines were conquered by the Romans. In 91 BC they started a rebellion against Rome, which ended two years later with the partial destruction of the town.

Get in[edit]

Map of Ascoli Piceno

By train[edit]

There is a line from San Benedetto del Tronto on the mainline along the Adriatic coast of Italy. The station is few hundred meters outside the centre.

By bus from Rome[edit]

A bus from Rome begins its route from Castro Pretorio street, near Termini (the main train station of Rome) and arrives in front of the train station in Ascoli Piceno.

By car[edit]

From the north, take highway A14, and exit at Ascoli Piceno - San Benedetto del Tronto, then take the free highway Ascoli-Mare for 28 km following the signs.

From Rome, take the SS4 Salaria (Statal Street n°4) to Rieti. After 197 km exit in Rosara and continue east (on the left) for 2 km.

Get around[edit]

Everything inside the fortified town can be reached on foot.


  • Piazza del Popolo: the main square of the city is considered one of the most beautiful in Italy. [1][dead link]: PalazzoCapitaniAP.jpg
  • La chiesa di San Francesco: the church of Saint Francisco overlooking the main square.
  • The medieval town and streets in travertin's local stone materials.
  • The Roman age fortress called "Fortezza Pia" in the upper part of the town, the walls and the bridges around the town.
  • The inside tunnel on the Porta Solestà's bridge: an escape route in case of siege to the city.
  • Vesta's temple: archeologists discovered, after years of studies, that it was devoted to the cult of Iside.
  • Il Duomo e Piazza Arringo: Duomo's church and its Arringo square with Town Hall palace and archeological museum.
  • The Ventidio Basso Theater: a most beautiful renaissance theater.
  • The auditorium built in a Roman pagan temple, with his special acoustics.
  • The Roman Theater, which is being escavated, near Porta Romana also known as Porta Gemina for its gates in the west of the fortified town with its huge walls.


  • Walking rounds of the town explained by the tourist office in the ground floor of Palazzo dei Capitani in the main square Piazza del Popolo.


  • Antique market (Mercatino dell'antiquariato) in the old streets of the center; takes place every third weekends of the month
  • Cheaper hand-made shoes in the nearby factories
  • The traditional Anisetta Meletti, a sweet anise distillate digestivo that is 130 years old. Maybe the most memorable place to get it is the original Caffè Meletti in the Piazza del Popolo: it's one of the 150 oldest caffès in Italy.


  • The typical "olive all'ascolana" made from olives stuffed with meat and spices, breaded and fried in olive oil.
  • Trattoria Da Middio, Via delle Canterine (near Porta Tufilla's monument), +39 0736 250867. €15-20.
  • Peperoncino, Via di Vesta (near the Vesta's Temple), +39 0736 256355. €15-25.
  • Lorenz, Piazza del Popolo n°5-8 (in the main square), +39 0736 253444. €20-30.


  • Typical cocktails and local wines in the main square, ad the nearby bars, starts just before the dinner, at 19:00.






Go next[edit]

  • There is some nice Roman and medieval castles around the town: ask to see Castel Trosino, Montadamo, Civitella del Tronto, and Arquata del Tronto.
  • In the summer and autumn every week any little town nearby organize a "Sagra" where it is possible to taste typical foods and beverages of the town and the lands around it.
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