Exploring Le Marche’s “City of 100 Towers”

Ascoli Piceno

The way to experience real, authentic Italian life is to visit at least one of the historic, medieval towns Le Marche offers, even if you are planning to have a relaxing holiday. Once you arrive in this part of Italy and see the area, feel the atmosphere, believe me you’ll change your mind and want to get out and explore a little.

One tip when planning a holiday in Le Marche, don’t forget to bring a pair of comfortable shoes.

Ascoli Piceno is less than an hour's drive from Hotel Leone. It’s an ancient town dating back several centuries before the establishment of Rome. The town lies on the border of two national parks; Monti Sibillini and Monti della Laga, and is only 25 km from the Adriatic sea. When you read about Ascoli Piceno you will often see the term “The City of 100 Towers”. According to historical records there used to be around 200 towers in the town in the past. Currently, about 50 of them still stand. Most of the historic centre, including the pavements, is built out of travertine, mined from the surrounding mountains. This, and the Renaissance architecture, gives Ascoli the authentic, historic feel you will never forget.

Places to see and visit

Piazza del Popolo

The Piazza del Popolo is considered one of the most beautiful piazzas in Italy. The moment you reach the piazza you will see medieval and Renaissance buildings, little local cafes and restaurants. Driving is not permitted here so you can freely explore every corner of the piazza and soak up the authentic Italian atmosphere. Other historic buildings to admire are Church of San Francesco, Captains’ Palace or Baptistery, which has remained unchanged since it was built in the 11 th century. Once your feet get tired visit the popular local Caffe Meletti , a famous Art-Deco bar, for a delicious coffee and cake. Piazza del Popolo is simply a beautiful place to start your Ascoli Piceno trip.

Cathedral of Sant’ Emidio

A Roman Catholic cathedral dedicated to Saint Emygdius, patron of Ascoli Piceno and protector against earthquakes. The cathedral and its baptistery are in the Piazza Arringo, only a short walk from the Piazza del Popolo. Inside the cathedral you can admire beautiful, blue ceiling paintings depicting scenes from the bible, white marble floors and the amazing mosaics in the crypt. The high windows give the cathedral so much light and brightness. You will love it.

Roman Bridge of Solesta

You can visit the inside of the bridge and find out more about Roman bridge architecture.

Malatesta Fortress

The fortress is situated outside the historic centre of Ascoli Piceno. It used to be a prison, but nowadays it serves as the Museum of the High Medieval. The museum is also open in the evenings in high season. It's a great place to visit on your way back to the hotel to enjoy the amazing views the fortress offers and to capture on camera the last moments of your day out.

Other architectural jewels you might visit while exploring Ascoli Piceno are Castel Trosino, an ancient Lombard Metropolis where you can find local art or clothes shops and enjoy shopping.  For art lovers, Ascoli Piceno is home to the second largest art gallery in Le Marche, Pinacoteca . You can find around 400 works of art here.

Ascoli Piceno is a place full of history, beautiful architecture, and tradition. There is something to suit every taste and we can promise you a truly Italian experience.