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The small town of Ancona is around a 15-minute drive from Ancona Falconara Airport (via SS76) and boasts an impressive history. Founded by Greek settlers from Syracuse in 387 BC, the town has retained many of its ancient sites.
Ancona’s white Romanesque Cathedral is the city’s shining star. Overlooking the city, it’s hard to ignore its presence. Completed in 1189, it features two lions standing guard at the doorway. Some of its columns are believed to have come from the Temple of Venus in Rome.
Most of the town’s attractions are located near the city centre, where cobblestoned streets and historical buildings provide a charming setting. Visit the marble Arch of Trajan, a Roman monument from 114 AD. The Episcopal Palace is also worth a visit, thanks to its beautiful architecture. This is also the place where Pope Pius died in 1464.
The Lazzaretto is another impressive building spread over an area of 20,000 square metres on an artificial island in the city’s harbour. It was originally used for military purposes, but is now a hub for the town’s cultural exhibits. Head to Cardeto Park and walk to the top of the hill for perfect 360-degree views of the city and Adriatic Sea beyond. Afterwards, explore the town’s boulevards and spend an afternoon in one of the many cafes.
With an Avis hire car, all of Ancona awaits. Pick up the keys and unlock your journey.
Whether you want some beach time or an opportunity to soak up an attractive and quiet Italian town, you’ll find it all near Ancona.
One of Italy’s lesser known gems, Urbino is a treat to discover for the first time, especially for art enthusiasts. Just over an hour from Ancona (via the A14 and SS73bis), this is such a pretty town nestled on a steep hill. Boasting impressive buildings designed by the famous architect, Federico da Montefeltro, it’s also the birthplace of world-renowned artists Raphael and Federico Barocci. You can admire some of Barocci’s work inside the town’s cathedral. Other artsy sites include the Oratorio di San Giovanni and the Palazzo Ducale – a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
If you want to explore the Italian coast, drive to Pesaro – just under an hour from Ancona via the A14. Thanks to its outstanding beaches, Pesaro has become a popular resort town, but it’s also a cultural hub and the birthplace of composer Gioachino Rossini. You can visit the composer’s home, Casa Rossini, which he left to the town when he died. Levante is the most family-friendly beach in Pesaro, with plenty of facilities to make your day in the sun as leisurely as possible.
Ascoli Piceno is 90 minutes from Ancona down the A14. The buildings are made almost exclusively from the gold-like limestone that’s typically found in the area. The ancient Roman mosaic at the Museo Archeologico Statale is a great place to learn about the city’s unique architecture. While in Ascoli Piceno, wander the city’s streets, taking in the sights, and don’t forget to sample the delicious local specialty: olive all’ascolana (stuffed and breaded olives, deep-fried).
Explore Italy at your own pace with an Avis hire car. Just buckle up and drive.