With only just under a 40 minute drive from Abruzzo Villas you find yourself in the beautiful town of Ascoli Piceno. Ascoli Piceno is renowned for its Olives cooked with various stuffing and buildings made of travertino marble that was extracted from surrounding mountains.
Piazzo del Popolo is its Renaissance square is highly regarded as one of the most beautiful squares in all of Italy containing important works of art. Jean Paul Sartre once wrote, “A walk through the streets of the old town of Ascoli is like browsing at random a volume of art history and be lucky enough to meet the most representative and expressive illustrations for various periods of Italian art”
As it was the first weekend of the month, it was Ascoli Piceno’s antique market – selling everything from quality art to rusty old nails! It was the perfect opportunity to go browsing for weird and wonderful things with a back drop of some of the most beautiful architecture and building in Italy.
- Ascoli Piceno’s Main Sights include:
- The Cathedral of Sant’Emidi
- 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.
- The Franciscan convent, of which two noteworthy cloisters remain today. It was once a prestigious center of culture, whose students included Pope Siztus V.
- Palazzo dell’Arengol
- Fortezza Pia, a fortress commanding the city rebuilt in 1560 by Pope Pius IV (hence the name).
- Malatesta Fortress
- Porta Tufilla
- The Palazzo dei Capitani del Popolo
- The Gothic-style church of San Francesco
- St. Peter Martyr (13th century), with a 1523 side portal by Nicola Filotesi, known locally as Cola d’Amatrice. The interior contains the precious reliquary of the Holy Thorn, a gift of Philip IV of France.
- Loggia dei Mercanti, in Bramantesque style of the Roman High Renassance.
- The convent of San Domenico, now a school, has a Renaissance cloister with 17th century frescoes.
- San Tommaso (1069), housing numerous art works and built with parts from the neighboring Roman amphitheater.