Ancona - the bustling lively port capital of Le Marche
The bustling port town of Ancona is situated on the Adriatic coast and serves as the capital of the Le Marche region. As well as being a major port, Ancona offers some fantastic white sand beaches and a lively bar and restaurant scene. Behind the bustling commercial facade you will find a fascinating historical city offering layers of Greek, Roman and Renaissance heritage, cathedrals, boulevards and cafe lined piazzas.
What to do
For many the arrival point into Ancona is its lively port area. The Eastern end is headed up by the iconic Arch of Trajan, while at the Western end you will find a marina full of fishing, sailing boats and yachts. Stop at one of the many waterside restaurants along the way.
Next, head to the beautiful Cathedral of Saint Ciriaco. Situated on top of a hill to the west of town it offers sweeping views over the city. Climb the flight of steps or take the winding panoramic road to the top. Take in the impressive façade and interior of this 11th century Romanesque structure before wandering back into town along the Piazza Anfiteatro for a glimpse of the remains of the city's Roman amphitheatre.
Near to the cathedral you will find the fascinating National Archeological Museum, one of the most important museums in the region. Inside it houses a vast collection of artefacts from iron age origin through the civilisations of the Adriatic coast along the way.
Relax whilst taking in the surroundings at Piazza del Plebiscito, the heart of Ancona's historic centre. This picturesque square is full of cafes and restaurants, overlooked by statues and historic public buildings.
Where to eat
For fantastic fresh seafood, head to La Terezza, in Ancona's ferry port area. Situated right on the port and with an outside terrace it offers fantastic views back across the bay and city. Immensely popular with locals, so well worth booking ahead.
In the historic centre, opposite the 13th century city gate, you will find Trattoria La Moretta, Ancona's longest established restaurant, run by the same family since 1897. A popular lunch and dining spot with tourists and locals alike, it offers traditional foods and local wines.
For one of the best gourmet experiences in the region, head to Ristorante da Vincenzo. Situated slightly out of town in the picturesque seaside town of Numana, this small restaurant offers a set seafood menu of traditional yet invite fare, which has earned them national recognition. Well worth the trip; but booking ahead is essential.
How to get there
The nearest airport, Marche/Ancona, is situated just 17km out of the city and offers regular Easyjet and Ryanair flights from the UK. The next nearest airports are located at Umbria - Perugia (100km south West) Pescara (140km) and Bologna (205km)
Ancona is served by a major train station offering high speed services to Milan, Turin and Venice, as well as overnight trains to Rome. It also offers an extensive local network for exploring the region.