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Excursion III
Ascoli Piceno Historical and Cultural

Ascoli Piceno is the capital of the same named province located in Le Marche region near the Adriatic Coast. The city center, a rich history book of art and architecture from the Roman, Medieval, Renaissance and Neo-Classic periods, was constructed with the famous Travertine white limestone.
Our tour begins at Piazza Arringo, the oldest town square, once the center of religion and politics.

The first stop is the Saint Emidio Cathedral, where we can admire the splendid “polittico” (Altarpiece artwork done in panels) from 1473 as well as the tombs underneath the church.

The cathedral is home to some of the most striking religious statues in Italy.

These awe-inspiring sculptures were created to honor Jesus Christ and the saints.

Leaving the cathedral and still in Piazza Arringo, we enter the Palazzo del Comune (City Hall) that was built in the 14th Century.

A few steps away is the Piazza del Popolo. This is considered the “living room” of Ascoli Piceno and one of the most extraordinary piazzas in Italy. The splendor of medieval and renaissance styles blending together is fascinating to witness.

Across the piazza, we will visit the imposing Captain’s Palace which was the head of the judiciary since 1200 AD.

A pause for a light lunch after our morning tour will take us to Caffè Meletti, one of the 150 historical cafes in Italy. Many movie scenes have been filmed here and it was also a favorite spot of Hemingway where he enjoyed Meletti’s homemade Anisetta (an anise based liquor)

After lunch, we’ll head toward the medieval quarter of San Giacomo. The antique Merchants’ Piazza is surrounded by the three oldest churches in Ascoli Piceno. In this old section of town, you can feel the medieval atmosphere with the small winding streets, some only four to five feet wide. As a symbol of wealth and power, many buildings were constructed with towers, giving Ascoli Piceno bragging rights as the first city with skyscrapers in the 13th Century.

Ascoli Piceno can be called a book of stone, and when you lift your gaze you can see some inscriptions written above the doorways from more than 500 years ago. It is like a modern day hashtag on their homes.

Man marches toward death as the day marches towards its end

To die with honor renews life. 1547AD

As we come to the end of our tour we will cross the Roman Bridge over the River Tronto that was constructed in 100 BC ,and then take a stroll up Via Delle Stelle.

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