Italy has always been famous for its great architecture, displayed in the well-known cities of Rome, Florence, Venice and many more. But what makes it a special country is that even the smallest and less familiar towns, in any region, can surprise the unaware visitor with great examples of architecture from various periods. Ascoli Piceno, on the south side of Le Marche, is certainly one of them. Piazza del Popolo is one of the best examples of an Italian ‘piazza’, almost like a people’s outdoor sitting room, with important buildings (Palazzo del Popolo and the side of San Francesco, a splendid gothic church) joined by graceful loggias with arcades running around its perimeter.  The Cathedral of Sant’Emidio in Piazza Arringo stands out for its grand interior and the Renaissance flat facade of 1529-39, whereas the adjacent Battistero of San Giovanni is a fine example of the solidity and simplicity of Romanesque architecture. Most of the architecture in Ascoli is built in travertine, a local stone that gives the town an elegant and consistent appearance throughout. Ascoli Piceno is truly a small architectural gem in central Italy, right next to our Umbria.

Piazza del Popolo


Battistero of San Giovanni

The Cathedral of Saint Emidio

detail of Palazzo dell'Arengo

Piazza del Popolo with San Francesco in the background

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