Whether it’s a stage trip along the coast of the Marches or a preferred destination for a city exploring trip: Ascoli Piceno is a place where history, art, food and wine coexist, telling the beauty of Italy.
It may be diminutive in size from the historic center or the ancient buildings on the travertines, but Ascoli Piceno still retains the incomparable charm of central Italian villages where time seems not to have passed. Magnificent and elegant squares, historic churches full of treasures, towers and bell towers that accentuate its profile. In Ascoli Piceno’s culture and popular appeal can just steal your heart.
The history of Ascoli Piceno is based on very ancient origins. If finds show that the area was already settled in Neolithic times, then in the 3rd century BC the Romans settled in the Piceni region, making Asculum a nerve center thanks to its position on the Via Salaria. The events that have involved the city through the centuries are many and varied, but the Roman period for Ascoli Piceno, and all the Marches, is synonymous with immense prosperity.
Ascoli Piceno was dominated by various seigniories, Malatesta and Sforza to name a few, and was under Papal States ownership until the mid-nineteenth century. The city won the Gold Medal for Military Courage for partisan activity (2001) for its leading role in Ascoli’s September 1943 resistance against the German occupation.
Where to start compiling a list of Ascoli Piceno monuments to absolutely visit? Difficult. In this mix of art, culture, architecture, food and wine, there’s plenty to see.
Among all the piazza del Popolo and piazza Arringo. Palazzo dei Capitani with its spire medieval tower, an architectural symbol of the whole city. Among the museums we recommend the Civil Art Gallery housed in Palazzo Arringo where you can admire works by, among others, Turner, Morelli, Palazzi, Celentano, Pellizza da Volpedo, De Carolis.
Don’t miss a break at cafe Merletti , a historic place always regarded as a meeting place for the most famous personalities, as well as a meeting point of culture and social life, better if you sample anisette, a green anise specialty based on liquor.
It doesn’t end here, the Roman bridge , Forte Malatesta , the cathedral of San’Emidio , the church of San Francesco and the papal paper mill museum are also not to be missed.
You don’t just live by art and culture: to enjoy your time in Ascoli Piceno even more, there are plenty of activities you can plan. A walking tour is perfect for visiting the city given the short distances. However, nothing prevents you from choosing to rent a bicycle at the Tourist Information Office on Piazza Arringo, or rely on the tourist train.
For food and wine enthusiasts, cooking and wine tasting classes are scheduled most days and will allow you to combine the benefits of learning secrets and traditions with the fun.
To see the city from another perspective, the suggestion is to take a walk along Via delle Stelle at sunset.
Ascoli Piceno knows how to order to great satisfaction also in culinary terms, satisfying even the most demanding palates. Let’s take a look at the basics of his signature culinary.
At the top of the list, the famous olive all’ascolana , carefully crafted with delicate olive ascolana dop .
Ciauscolo , sausages that you can’t tell you like salami without tasting them and vincisgrassi , grilled pasta consisting of many layers, seasoned with grated Parmesan and a special sauce made with different types of meats according to each family’s special recipe .
For lovers of leavened products, the cheese pizza and cacciannanze ascolana , the special Marche focaccia with oil and rosemary, will have you hooked.
Turning to desserts, this carnival of ravioli eaten in this city knows few rivals. Bonus. Satisfying curiosity about what to eat at Ascoli Piceno , we conclude with anise flowers , maybe with roasted coffee beans. It’s practically a moral obligation.