Ascoli Piceno

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Ascoli Piceno
Città di Ascoli Piceno
Piazza del Popolo
Piazza del Popolo
Coat of arms of Ascoli Piceno
Coat of arms
Ascoli Piceno is located in Italy
Ascoli Piceno
Ascoli Piceno
Location of Ascoli Piceno in Italy
Coordinates: 42°51′N 13°35′E / 42.850°N 13.583°E / 42.850; 13.583
Country Italy
Region Marche
Province Ascoli Piceno (AP)
Frazioni see list
 • Mayor Guido Castelli
 • Total 160 km2 (60 sq mi)
Elevation 154 m (505 ft)
Population (31 December 2010)[1]
 • Total 51,168
 • Density 320/km2 (830/sq mi)
Demonym(s) Ascolani
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code 63100
Dialing code 0736
Patron saint St. Emygdius
Saint day August 5
Website Official website

Ascoli Piceno ([ˈaskoli piˈtʃɛːno]; Latin: Asculum)[2] is a town and comune in the Marche region of Italy, capital of the province of the same name. Its population is around 51,000[1] but the urban area of the city has more than 105,000.


The town lies at the confluence of the Tronto River and the small river Castellano and is surrounded on three sides by mountains. Two natural parks border the town, one on the northwestern flank (Parco Nazionale dei Monti Sibillini) and the other on the southern (Parco Nazionale dei Monti della Laga).

Ascoli has good rail connections to the Adriatic coast and the city of San Benedetto del Tronto, by highway to Porto d'Ascoli and by the Italian National Road 4 Salaria to Rome.


Ascoli was founded by an Italic population (Piceni) several centuries before Rome's founding on the important Via Salaria, the salt road that connected Latium with the salt production areas on the Adriatic coast. In 268 BC it became a civitas foederata, a "federated" city with nominal independence from Rome. In 91 BC, together with other cities in central Italy, it revolted against Rome, but in 89 BC was reconquered and destroyed by Pompeius Strabo. Its inhabitants acquired Roman citizenship, following the developments and the eventual fall of the Roman Empire.

During the Middle Ages Ascoli was ravaged by the Ostrogoths and then by the Lombards of King Faroald (578). After nearly two centuries as part of the Lombard Duchy of Spoleto (593–789), Ascoli was ruled by the Franks through their vicars, but ultimately it was the bishops that gained influence and power over the city.

In 1189 a free republican municipality was established but internal strife led dramatically to the demise of civic values and freedom and to unfortunate ventures against neighboring enemies. This unstable situation opened the way to foreign dictatorships, like those of Galeotto I Malatesta (14th century), initially recruited as a mercenary (condottiero) in the war against Fermo, and Francesco Sforza. Sforza was ousted in 1482, but Ascoli was again compelled to submit to the Papal suzerainty. In 1860 it was annexed, together with Marche and Umbria, into the newly unified Kingdom of Italy.

The monumental entrance of Julius II in the church of San Francesco

Main sights[edit]

The central historical part of the city is built in marble called travertino, a grey-hued stone extracted from the surrounding mountains. Its central Renaissance square, Piazza del Popolo ("Square of the People") is considered one of the most beautiful in Italy. According to traditional accounts, Ascoli Piceno was home to more than two hundred towers in the Middle Ages: today some fifty can still be seen.

Main sights include:

Churches and convents[edit]

  • Cathedral of Sant'Emidio, dedicated to Saint Emygdius, houses an altarpiece by Carlo Crivelli, who lived and worked in and around the city for many years.
  • Tempietto di Sant'Emidio alle Grotte
  • Tempietto di Sant'Emidio Rosso
  • San Francesco: Gothic style church begun in 1258). The dome was completed in 1549. A monument to Pope Julius II is in the side portal, while the central portal is one of the finest examples of local travertine decoration. Adjacent to the church is the 16th-century Loggia dei Mercanti, in Bramantesque style of the Roman High Renaissance.
  • San Vittore: Romanesque church documented from 996 with a low bell tower.
  • St. Augustinus (14th century). Built with a single nave, was enlarged with two aisles in the late 15th century. The rectangular façade has a 1547 portal similar to that of St. Emidio. The convent houses the Town's library, the Contemporary Art Gallery and an auditorium.
  • San Domenico: former convent, now school, has a Renaissance cloister with 17th-century frescoes.
  • St. Peter Martyr (13th century), with a 1523 side portal by Nicola Filotesio, known locally as Cola d'Amatrice. The interior contains the precious reliquary of the Holy Thorn, a gift of Philip IV of France.
  • San Tommaso (1069), housing numerous art works and built with parts from the neighboring Roman amphitheater.
  • The Franciscan convent, of which two noteworthy cloisters remain today. It was once a prestigious center of culture, whose students included Pope Sixtus V.

Other buildings[edit]

Porta Gemina
Porta Tufilla.
  • The Palazzo dei Capitani del Popolo ("Palace of the People's Captains"). Built in the 13th century connecting three pre-existing edifices, it was the seat of the podestà, the people's captains and, later, of the Papal governors. In the 15th century the southern side was enlarged, and, in 1520, a Mannerist façade was added in the rear side. In 1535 it underwent a general renovation, and in 1549 a new portal, with a monument of Pope Paul III, was added.
  • Palazzo dell'Arengo, located near the Cathedral
  • The Palazzo Malaspina, in Corso Mezzini. Built in the 16th century to replace the previous medieval palazzo, this is an imposing structure showing the fusion of the 14th century edifice and the work of Cola dell'Amatrice, traditionally held to be the architect of this palace.
  • Roman Solestà Bridge
  • The Porta Gemina ("Twin Gate"), an ancient Roman gate from the 1st century BC, through which the Via Salaria entered the city. The ruins of the ancient theater are located nearby. It had two passageways, each 5.70 metres (18.7 ft) tall and 2.95 metres (9.7 ft) wide
  • Porta Tufilla, a tower-like gate built in 1552–55. It is annexed to the Ponte Tufillo, a medieval bridge built in 1097 over the River Tronto.
  • Ponte di Cecco (Cecco Bridge), over the Castellano, recently identified of being of Roman Republican origin
  • Ponte Maggiore ("Great Bridge"), of medieval origin
  • Lombard Palace and the Ercolani Tower (11th-12th centuries)
  • The Loggia dei Mercanti, a 16th-century portico annexed to the church of St. Francis. It was commissioned by the city's wool traders guild and finished in 1513.
  • Fortezza Pia, a fortress commanding the city rebuilt in 1560 by Pope Pius IV (whence the name).
  • Malatesta Fortress, in a site probably occupied by Roman baths. It was rebuilt by Galeotto I Malatesta, lord of Rimini, during the war against Fermo. The construction, used as a jail until 1978, was enlarged by Antonio da Sangallo the Younger in 1543.
  • Edicola (monumental niche, once housing a Madonna image) of Lazzaro Morelli, a 1639 architecture attributed to sculptor Lazzaro Morelli, a disciple of Gianlorenzo Bernini.
  • Grotte dell'Annunziata ("Grottoes of the Annunciation"), a large portico with niches from the 2nd-1st centuries BC, whose original function is unknown (it has been suggested that they could be barracks or slaves dwellings, or a fortified palace[3])

In Castel Trosino, not far from the city, in 1893 a rare 6th-century Lombard necropolis was found.

Parks and gardens[edit]

Palazzo dei Capitani del Popolo.


Recent industrialization has brought to Ascoli several Italian and multinational companies (YKK, Manuli, Pfizer, Barilla) but the bulk of the economy is made up of small and medium-sized enterprises and by those providing professional services to the area. Agriculture is still important (wheat, olives, fruits).


Ascoli Piceno railway station, opened in 1886, is the southwestern terminus of the San Benedetto del Tronto–Ascoli Piceno railway, a branch of the Adriatic railway.

Culture and sport[edit]

The main festivity is on the first Sunday in August. The historical parade with more than 1500 people dressed in Renaissance costume is held in celebration of Saint Emidio, protector of the city. The parade is followed by a tournament, called Quintana, in which six knights, each competing for one of the six neighborhoods in the city, ride the course one after the other trying to hit an effigy of an Arab warrior. Strength and ability are necessary for the knight to win the palio or grand prize.

The town is also home to Ascoli Picchio F.C. 1898, currently in the Lega Pro. The word "Picchio" means "Woodpecker": it's the symbol of the team, as it refers to the history of the town. Ascoli Piceno was founded by ancient italic people following a woodpecker that signed them the place. Those people were named "Piceni" after "Picchio", which was considered a sacred bird for the ancient pagan god Mars. The woodpecker is also the bird shown on the Marche's Flag.

In summer people from Ascoli Piceno spend their free hours swimming in what they call 'il fiume' ('the river'). 'Il fiume' in this context does not refer to the Tronto river, which is the main river of Ascoli Piceno, but to the smaller Castellano river. The site is accessed via a small path west of the Ponte di Porta Cartara, which is located south of the city. At this site the river forms a shallow basin suited for children, a waterfall which people jump from and a few other smaller waterfalls. One may also see dogs swimming in the river.


Piazza Arringo

  • Peccato Di Gola: Corso Vittorio Emanuele, 13. A small Coca Cola branded lunch pizza shop who also serves pastries and fresh bread with counter seating.
  • inVidia Caffe: Corso Vittorio Emanuele, 17. A quick modern style sit down café who serves wine, coffee, ice cream, and pasties.
  • Caffe Pasticceri Angelini: Corso Vittorio Emanuele, 30A. A small seated bar and breakfast café who sculptures their chocolates and has many other creative pastries to offer.
  • Marcelleria and Gastronomia: Corso Vittorio Emanuele, 23. A convenient store to quickly pick up and take home a variety of different raw and pre-cooked meats.
  • Istanbul: A fast food restaurant that serves pizza, coca-cola products, and is only open for lunch. The meals include a combination of lamb or hamburgers served with a side of french fries and a soda. This is a good spot for free wifi.
  • Natura: Corso Vittorio Emanuele. A small fresh produce shop who has a wide variety of different raw fruits and vegetables along with a few selections of cheese available.
  • Caffe Giardino: This quaint sweet shop adorned with pink walls and frills offers coffee and pastries. Owned by one of the previous ladies of the Quintana, catering options are available.
  • Ristorante Pub: Quartiere S. Emidio 9. This buffet style bar offers various foods including steak, pizza, and wine. It has outdoor patio seating that overlooks the Porto Maggiore.
  • Panne Pizza e Dolci : La Panificatrice 3. This quick stop bakery offers breads, pizzas, and pastries as well as soda and gum.

Piazza Del Popolo

  • Backstage Cafén°50- This is a typical Italian bar with an assortment of beverages as well as pastries, pre-made sandwiches, and snacks.
  • 180 Gradin°40- This small food stand is located next to the Backstage Café and displays a multitude of fried food options for take away.
  • Caffé Ferrettin°34- A café and bar with outdoor and indoor seating connected to a small shop that serves ice cream, gelato, and an array of appetizers.
  • Anisetta Meletti (Café Meletti)n°22- An elegant style café and restaurant with eye-catching bright green awnings, outdoor seating, and also includes a terrace and dining room for lunch and dinner. It's famous for its Anisette candies and liquor.
  • Café Lorenzn°4- Casual restaurant and pizzeria associated with its large availability for outdoor seating and small bar and pastry shop inside.

Piazza della Viola

La Bottega
  • La Bottega – n°16 A wine bar specializing in prosciutto which is featured as the centerpiece for many of the items on their menu. The menu consists of mainly appetizers (antipasti) but also including a few pasta dishes and paninis; it has a large, beautiful outside seating area which attracts a crowd in the evenings.
  • Mangiafuoco – n°14 A restaurant with a small menu that includes a variety of traditional Italian dishes emphasizing their many handmade items.
  • Bella Napoli – n°20 A very inexpensive pizzeria with a large selection of pizza and a small selection of pasta and antipasti dishes; offering gluten free pizza as well!

Piazza Arringo

Vince Falacarita Aludome
  • Pizzicheria Tornasacco – Via Tornasacco n°9 This hidden gem provides all the small grocery items you could possibly need offering the freshest fruit, vegetable, cheese, cured meats, cold salads, bread, eggs, and dairy as well as an assortment of dry grocery items such as pasta and canned beans. The staff is absolutely wonderful and will be sure to assist in selecting the best wine from their small assortment.
  • Trattoria dell’arengo – Via Tornasacco n°5 This modern ristorante tucked into the corner of Piazza Aringo has incredibly friendly owners and serves simple but elegant traditional Italian food for lunch and dinner with a tourist menu option; it includes antipasti, prima piatta, and seconda piatta for 15 Euro.
  • Migliori This artisan deli, restaurant, bar has a small simple menu and offers a variety of take away or dine in l’insalate, wine, olive oil, and delicatessens as well as an assortment of fried specialties including olive d’ascolana.
  • Ingresso – n°42 This small bakery/café offers a little bit of everything from coffee, pastry, gelato and other desserts to a full breakfast, lunch, and dinner menu with a comfortable but elegant dining area as well as ample outdoor shaded seating.
  • Yoghi - n°39 This is a gelato cafe which is filled with pastries, frozen yogurt, gelato, coffee and other sweets. A variety of toppings are offered including sauces and candy toppings.
  • Bar Ideal - A restaurant serving breakfast, lunch and dinner offering traditional Italian cuisine and American selections as well, including burgers and french fries.
  • Pub Murpheys - n°31 This lively pub-like atmosphere offers a mix of traditional Italian food as well as American pub food. Many people gather here in the evening to enjoy drinks and socialize.
  • Vince Falacarita Aludome - n°18 A small "hole-in-the-wall" cafe with a small lunch menu. This cafe closes for the siesta and reopens around 5 o'clock pm with a full bar and appetizers.

Via Pertoriano

  • La Fabbrichetta e Dolce e Salato - Via Pertoriano, 40. This small store is the equivalent of a bulk candy store including a limited selection o wine, snacks, meat, cheese, and coffee.
  • Lu Fune d 'Usta - Via Pertoriano, 38. The friendly staff in this deli-style corner store offer fresh baked bread and pizza, packaged snacks and pastas, drinks, meat, eggs, and some paper goods.
  • L'orto di Cecco - Via Pertoriano, 33. This is a hole in the wall fresh fruit and vegetable store with a variety of fresh plant products, along with a very limited variety packaged pasta, sauces, snacks, and drinks.
  • Cafe Pretoriano - Via Pertoriano, 14. This is a bar/pub with coffee and breakfast in the morning, followed by burgers, beer, specialty shots at night. Caffe Pretoriano has seating (chairs and couches) along with foosball, karaoke, and wifi.
  • Latteria Marini - On the corner of Via D Angelini and Via Pertoriano. Latteria Marini was established in 1933, when whey started filling empty glass milk bottles for customers. The extremely friendly and accommodating produces and sells its own yogurt, topped with your choice of topping including honey, fruit, nutella, and more, also offering loose tea, breakfast foods, and wine with indoor and outdoor seating.

Via Mazzini e Via Sacconi

  • Minnie Gelateria Yogurteria - Corso Mazzini, AP " across from BNL, Minnie Gelateria is a playful and young gelato shop with a wide array of flavors despite its small size.
  • Poppa's Sweeties - Corso Mazzini, AP " a fully stocked candy shop with an intoxicatingly sweet aroma that will leave your mouth watering for some of their endless rows of self-serve candy.
  • Rosticceria Pizzeria - Corso Mazzini 205 " An inexpensive pizza joint that gives off a diner- type feeling and would satiate any late-night classic Italian food cravings.
  • Pasticceria Picena - Via Sacconi 34, AP " A bustling bakery with endless amounts of sweets that gives off a delicious smell of freshly made Italian desserts right as you walk in.
  • Caffé Tazza D’Oro - AP " This café is stationed in a beautiful building that offers a little bit of everything from breakfast to lunch to a well-stocked bar; it is perfect for a quick stop and also has a few arcade games!

Via Dino Angelini

  • Primitivo- 5 Via Dino Angelini. This is a specialty store selling chocolate, honey, liquors, and caramel. Great for a sweet tooth and bringing home local gifts.
  • Super Coal- Via Dino Angelini 103. This local market is supplied with fresh fruit, vegetables, meat, poultry, cheese, paper and cleaning products, and dry staples.
  • Il Poggio- Via Dino Angelini 94. This breakfast and lunch style caffé offers pre-prepared meal choices, similar that of a buffet. Options include pastries, pasta, vegetable dishes, and a variety of beverages. Free wi-fi available with a large comfortable seating area.
  • Pasticceria Guido- Via Dino Angelini 110. This breakfast caffé is perfect for starting your day with a pastry and choice of coffee. No wi-fi available.

Corso Trente e Triste

  • Pasticcieri dal 1954 91 Corso Trente e Triste - This little pastry shop provides visually appealing cakes, delicately decorated desserts and pastries as well as coffee along with gelato in all different colors and flavors.
  • Kapadokya- Il Kebab, 83 Corso Trente e Triste – This is a fast food establishment with American and Greek choices including pizza, hot dogs, hamburgers and falafel.
  • La Locandiera, 33 Corso Trente e Triste – Menu is available in English with an assortment of inexpensive options serving classic Italian cuisine. Has been reviewed on Trip Advisor.
  • Piccolo Teatro, 2 Via Carlo Goldoni – This restaurant is a hidden gem right off of Corso Trente e Triste. They use high quality ingredients to design elegant traditional meals. This establishment is very highly ranked on Trip Advisor, as well as receiving other accolades.
  • Tigre, 1 Corso Trente e Triste – A small grocery store that provides a selection of basic needs for cooking, cleaning, and personal hygiene. There is a deli, produce, dairy, dry goods, along with paper goods and toiletries.

Corso Giuseppe Mazzini

  • Bar Lori - Corso Mazzini, 153. Small bar with outdoor and indoor seating located around the corner of Piazza de Popolo offering caffè, drinks and pastry. Facebook Page
  • Casanova pub - Corso Mazzini, 40. A small pub with fresh pizza, live music and karaoke nights. Facebook Page
  • Caffé porta romana - Corso Mazzini, 22. A larger cafe, bar, and convenience store with indoor and outdoor seating.
  • Piu Pizzeria - Corso Mazzini, 21. A small rustic restaurant with indoor and outdoor seating; perfect atmosphere for getting to know the locals.

Territorial Subdivision[edit]

Bivio Giustimana, Campolungo-villa sant'Antonio, Caprignano, Carpineto, Casa circondariale, Casalena, Casamurana, Case di Cioccio, Casette, Castel di Lama stazione, Castel Trosino, Cervara, Colle, Colle san Marco, Colloto, Colonna, Colonnata, Faiano, Funti, Giustimana, Il Palazzo, Lago, Lisciano, Lisciano di Colloto, Montadamo, Morignano, Mozzano, Oleificio Panichi, Palombare, Pedana, Piagge, Pianaccerro, Poggio di Bretta, Polesio, Ponte Pedana, Porchiano, Rosara, San Pietro, Santa Maria a Corte, Talvacchia, Taverna di mezzo, Trivigliano-villa Pagani, Tronzano, Valle Fiorana, Valle Senzana, Valli, Vena piccola, Venagrande, Villa S. Antonio.

International relations[edit]

Twin towns – Sister cities[edit]

Ascoli Piceno is twinned with:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Population data from Istat
  2. ^ Richard J.A. Talbert, ed. (2000). Barrington Atlas of the Greek and Roman World: Map-By-Map Directory I. Princeton, NJ and Oxford, UK: Princeton University Press. p. 607. ISBN 0691049459. 
  3. ^ Carducci, Giambattista (1853). Su le memorie e i monumenti di Ascoli nel Piceno. Fermo: Arnaldo Forni Editore. pp. 206–209. 
  4. ^ Banská Bystrica, Sister cities - Twin towns
  5. ^ Chattanooga Sister Cities
  6. ^ "National Commission for Decentralised cooperation". Délégation pour l’Action Extérieure des Collectivités Territoriales (Ministère des Affaires étrangères) (in French). Retrieved 2013-12-26. 

External links[edit]