Although lacking the extravagant glamour of most of the popular Italian cities but maintaining its authentic personality, the capital of the evergreen region of Le Marche and the largest port of Central Italy is still full of surprises for the visitors. A magnificent natural scenography of green hills overlooking the Adriatic Sea. A piece of the old Europe, decorated with roman ruins and tall palazzi of the Renaissance in various earth tones. A culinary paradise for seafood. A city that is home to a friendly, choosy but modest population, devoted to their daily afternoon aperitivo routine that starts at 18.30; art and opera lovers; the greatest theatre lovers in Italy.

Ancona is privileged in terms of geography. On the eastern coast of Italy, a peninsula spreads out on the foot of the magical Mount Conero and reaches the Adriatic Sea, creating a unique natural harbour. The Greeks from Syracuse were the first to appreciate the importance of this location and established their colony in 387 BC. They named the city after the Greek “Ankon” (Αγκών) for “elbow” as the shape of the peninsula on the map of Italy resembles that of a human elbow. Famous for its wine and its the tyrian purple dye, the city reached its ultimate glory during the Roman times thanks to the significance of its port.

One of the five maritime cities of the Byzantine Exarchate of Ravenna but also a privileged territory of the papal states up until its unification with the Kingdom of Italy, Ancona preserved its glory for centuries.

The view to the Old Town and the historic harbour from the top of the Guasco hill is astonishing. Here rises the Cattedrale San Ciriaco, a symbol of Ancona; a masterpiece of Byzantine, Roman and Gothic architecture, built on top of the ruins of an ancient Greek acropolis. Very close from here and also in a prominent location is yet another emblematic monument, the elaborate Arch of Trajan, erected in the 2nd century in honour of the Roman Emperor who improved the port's fortifications. Another impressive structure is the majestic Mole Vanvitelliana or Lazaretto built in the 18th century; a huge fortified, pentagonal military building that resembles an island made of stone right in the heart of the port. Today, the building functions as a cultural centre.

Stroll around the historic centre with the cobbled streets, beautiful squares and atmospheric cafés, and admire some of the most important sights of Ancona. The magnificent baroque church of San Domenico in Piazza del Plebiscito, that houses masterpieces such as Titian's “Crucifixion” and Guercino’s “Annunciation”. The imposing Palazzo Ferretti of the 16th century, seat of the National Archaiological Museun of Le Marche. The historic Teatro delle Muse (1826), a beautiful composition of ionic columns and bas-relief friezes with the figures of Apollo and the nine Muses. The church of San Francesco alle Scale erected in the 15th century with the impressive Venetian-Gothic entrance, a work of Giorgio Orsini, the famous Venetian sculptor. And of course, the popular Fontana del Calamo built in the 16th century; it is said that whoever drinks water from the fountain will soon return to the city.

  • view_headlineSights and routes close to Ancona

    In the “unknown” Le Marche district, the scenery of Tuscany meets the rugged beauty of the Mediterranean. Through the centuries, History weaved the culture and enchanting traditions of the locals.

    • The cradle of the Renaissance, the birthplace of Raphael and an architectural masterpiece, the imposing Urbino maintains its untouched atmosphere and glory of the second half of the 15th century, thanks to the court of Duke Federico da Montefeltro, the Renaissance Man, and the city’s prominent residents. One of the most beautiful cities of Italy, fully fortified on a 485m high evergreen hill and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Admire the grand Palazzo Ducale, home to the Galleria Nazionale delle Marche with world art masterpieces, such as Piero della Francesca’s “The Flagellation of Christ”. Raphaels’ house is another local attraction.

    Thousands of pilgrims meet every year in the beautiful medieval castle town of Loreto, famous for its historic Holy House of the Virgin Mary. Here, on the top of the evergreen hill, rises the imposing Sanctuaro della Santa Casa, a masterpiece of renaissance art of the 15th – 16th century that contains the holy house of the Holy Family of Nazareth. Legend has it that the house of Virgin Mary and Jesus Christ was transferred here by the Archangels in 1294 for protection against the Sarracenes who invaded the Holy Land.

    • Majestic towns spreading across the hills and valleys and historic medieval villages with great history and beautiful architecture; a fascinating opportunity to explore the magical mainland of Ancona: atmospheric Montefano with its baroque churches; musical Camerano, the capital of the accordion and famous for its musical instruments manufacture since the 19th century - a fascinating thematic museum awaits the visitor here; marvellous Recanati, the birthplace of Giacomo Leopardi; Filottrano, the heart of traditional men's tailoring.

    Popular seaside resorts, idyllic bays and beaches of rare wild beauty form the magical scenery of the Riviera del Conero, the coastline formed by the northern section of the white cliffs of Monte Conero that plunge into the crystal-clear waters of the Adriatic Sea. The coastline is part of the protected ecological area of the Conero Regional Park (Parco del Conero), a true paradise for nature-lovers and hikers with rich low vegetation. Enjoy the view of the great blue sea from the natural verandas of Sirolo and Numana; admire the symphony of the bright white pebbles and the turquoise waters of the Portonovo bay and the mesmerizing Mezzavalle.

    The fascinating underground world of the Frassasi Caves, not far from the city of Genga, is one of the most important geological monuments of Europe with incredible stalagmite and stalactite formations. The most impressive hall on the 1.5 km itinerary is called the “Ancona Abyss” and it is big enough to fit Milan's Duomo, the world's largest cathedral.

  • view_headlineWhat’s not to miss...

    • Visit the Museo Tattile Statale Omero in Ancona, the only European museum for roman antiquities and Renaissance art that is dedicated to the blind.

    Visit the majestic seaside town of Pesaro, birthplace of Gioachino Rossini, the famous composer of “Il barbiere di Siviglia (The Barber of Seville). Step into his home, now a museum and then stroll around the central square of the San Terenzio Cathedral and the Palazzo Ducale.

    Walk around in the beautiful historic town of Ascoli Piceno, built entirely of travertine stone, a local natural mineral in brown and yellow shades. Don’t forget to sample the famous local delicacy, the olive all’ ascolana (stuffed-and-fried olive snack with meat, herbs and cheese).

      Discover the wine culture of the region of Le Marche, home to the famous white Verdicchio and the red Rosso Conero wines.

    Taste the three most popular dishes in Ancona, stoccafisso all’ anconitana (oven-baked stockfish with sweet sauce and potatoes) and brodetto (fish stew), vincisgrassi (a local lasagne recipe from 1799).

  • view_headlineTravelling to and from Ancona

    Travel to and from Ancona with ANEK LINES and enjoy a comfortable journey in the blue crystal-clear waters of the Ionian and the Adriatic Sea with one of the leading passenger ferry operators in the Mediterranean.

    ΑΝΕΚ LINES connects the port of Patras with daily itineraries with the port of Ancona and the intermediate ports of Igoumenitsa and Corfu (during the summer) .The company offers top quality services and authentic Cretan “philoxenia” on board.

    The routes ITALY - GREECE are jointly operated with Superfast Ferries.

    The modern fleet and highly trained crew of ANEK promise a pleasant on board stay, meeting the needs and demands of the modern traveller. ANEK ferries have spacious cabins of all categories, comfortable and air-conditioned all-user areas with many entertainment options, modern stores, gourmet restaurants and café -bars.

    ANEK LINES highly values gastronomy and offers exquisite menus based on authentic Cretan products and tastes of the Cretan and the Mediterranean cuisine. All ΑΝΕΚ ferries offer 24hour internet service (wi-fi and Internet Corners) at designated areas. An open-deck swimming pool and on board camping facilities are available on  international routes.

    Discover our best prices for ferry tickets and unique offers for passenger tickets and cabin accommodation throughout the year.

  • view_headlineArriving at Ancona

    ANEK LINES ferries arrive to and depart from the state-of-the-art port of Ancona, the largest and most important port of Central Italy. The port is literally located in front of the city’s historic centre.

    Ancona’s Central Train Station (Stazione FS Centrale) is just 2 km away from the harbour. You can easily reach the station on a taxi or no. 1/4 bus (to Tavernelle) that passes by Piazza Kennedy right next to the harbour.

    Ancona is also connected via frequent railway service with all large cities in Italy (Rome, Milano, Bologna, Naples, Florence) and Europe, and is therefore the ideal point of departure for travelling to various destinations.

    From Ancona, you can easily travel through a vast motorway network to all favourite destinations in Italy and Europe. Ancona is served by motorway A14 (Autostrada Adriatica) that connects Bologna to Taranto as well as by SS16, that runs straight along the beautiful Adriatic coast. The SS76 (Ancona-Rome) links Ancona to Rome. ANEK LINES offers reliable and value for money transportation service so you can take along your own car, motorcycle, trailer or caravan and enjoy unforgettable trips to unique destinations in Italy and other European countries.

  • view_headlineUseful telephone numbers

    ΑΝΕΚ LINES - Central Reservation Dept: 0030 210 4197400, 0030 210 4197420 ANEK LINES ITALIA s.r.l.: 0039 071 2072346 ANEK LINES ITALIA - Stazione Marittima di Ancona: 0039 071 2072275 F.LLI. MORANDI & CO: 0039 071 202033 Ancona Port Authority: 0039 071 207891 Ancona Municipality: 0039 071 2221 Municipal Police: 0039 071 222 2222 Ancona Post Office: 0039 071 501 2260 Radio TAXI: 0039 071 43321


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