Ancona Travel Guide: Top 20 Things to Do in Ancona, Italy

Nestled on Italy’s eastern coast, Ancona is more than a mere dot on the map. It’s a city where history’s echo is a loud whisper, and the Adriatic Sea’s blue hues blend seamlessly with the sky.

Where History Meets the Horizon

An Ancient Tapestry

Founded by Greeks, refined by Romans. Ancona’s past is a mosaic. The Arch of Trajan stands tall, a doorway through time. Then there’s the Cathedral of San Ciriaco, reaching skyward from Guasco Hill – a mix of Byzantine whispers and Romanesque solidity.

Ancona beautiful waterfront views

A Feast for the Senses

Flavors of the Sea

Seafood here? Exquisite. Imagine dining by the sea, where the day’s catch meets age-old recipes, and every bite tells a story. It’s not just eating; it’s an experience. Picture this: a glass of Verdicchio in hand, as the sunset paints the sky.

Nature’s Embrace

The Call of the Wild

Just a stone’s throw away, the Conero Peninsula awaits. Cliffs dive into azure waters. Beaches hide away, treasures waiting for footprints. Trails weave through greenery, promising adventure. It’s where peace finds you, amidst the rustling leaves and the rhythmic waves.

Why Ancona?

In Italy’s heart, Ancona beats quietly, overshadowed yet vibrant. It’s a city for the curious, the explorers seeking stories untold. Here, the pace slows, the senses heighten, and the beauty of Italy unfolds in its most authentic form. It’s a journey back in time, a dive into culinary excellence, and an embrace of nature’s untouched beauty.

In Ancona, every step is a discovery, every meal a celebration, and every view a memory in the making. It beckons quietly, promising the essence of Italy, undisturbed.

Ancona Travel Guide: Things to do in Ancona, Italy

Ancona City Guide: A Brief History Of Ancona, Italy

As we peel back the layers of time, we discover a city that has been a silent witness to the rise and fall of empires, a hub of maritime trade, and a melting pot of cultures. Let’s dive deep into the rich history of Ancona, Italy, exploring the epochs that have shaped this enchanting port city.

Origins and Antiquity

A Greek Beginning

Imagine, centuries ago, Greek settlers founding Ancona, attracted by its natural harbor. It’s said the name “Ancona” derives from the Greek word “ankon,” meaning “elbow,” aptly describing the city’s curved harbor. This strategic location made Ancona a vital player in ancient trade routes.

Roman Influence

As Rome expanded, Ancona became a crucial Adriatic port. The Romans built its iconic arch, the Arch of Trajan, celebrating the harbor’s expansion. This magnificent structure still stands today, a testament to Roman engineering and Ancona’s significance in ancient times.

Medieval Majesty

A City Rises

The fall of the Roman Empire plunged many cities into darkness, but Ancona, resilient, found new life in the Middle Ages. It became a free city-state, flourishing through trade. The city’s maritime laws, the “Statuti Marittimi,” set standards across the Adriatic. It was during this era that Ancona’s cathedral, San Ciriaco, began to watch over the city from Guasco Hill, blending Byzantine and Romanesque styles in a symbol of enduring faith.

Renaissance and Beyond

A Haven in Turmoil

During the Renaissance, Ancona, like much of Italy, was caught in the crossfire of warring states and invading armies. Yet, it emerged as a sanctuary, offering refuge to those fleeing persecution. Its role as a haven during this tumultuous time added layers of cultural and religious diversity to its fabric.

Modern Times

A Fight for Freedom

In more recent history, Ancona has faced challenges, including destruction during World War II. However, its spirit remained unbroken. The city was rebuilt, preserving its historical heritage while embracing modernity. Today, Ancona stands proud, a city that has weathered the storms of history, yet remains a vibrant, welcoming community.

Every corner of Ancona, from its ancient arch to the serene cathedral, tells a story of resilience, diversity, and beauty. The city doesn’t just belong to the past; it’s a living museum, where history and modern life meld seamlessly. Walking through Ancona is like traversing through time, with each step revealing a new chapter of its storied past.

Ancona distinct archway worth visiting

Ancona Top Attractions and Best Places to Visit in Italy

Begin your sightseeing in Ancona by taking in Cattedrale di San Ciriaco. The builders of this basilica laid its foundation in the 11th century, but this place has been here for longer than that. According to archaeologists, a Greek temple honouring Aphrodite existed as far back as the 3rd century BC.

Thanks to countless restorations, this cathedral boasts numerous architectural styles. It was initially built as a Romanesque church but now features Byzantine and Gothic elements. Note that this church sits atop a steep hill – however, you can take a train to the summit for 5 EUR.

San Ciriaco isn’t the only Romanesque church in Ancona, though – Santa Maria della Piazza is another excellent specimen. Its builders raised it between the 11th and the 12th centuries, and unlike San Ciriaco, it mostly retains its Romanesque appearance.

More Atractions

However, like its cousin, this church sits atop older sites of worship. Before Santa Maria’s building, an older Christian church sat there until the 6th century. So in the basement, you’ll find old mosaics that used to reside on the former church’s floor.

Learn about the history of the Ancona area by spending some time in Museo Archeologico Nazionale delle Marche. Within its halls, you’ll find exhibits that show off artifacts from the prehistoric era through to the times of the Romans.

In these displays, there is everything from tools to jewellery to yarn. However, be aware that not all captions are in English – be sure to have Google Translate handy.

Lastly, be sure to check out Museo Tattile Statale Omero. This museum’s curators designed the place to allow those with visual disabilities to experience art. All displays are designed to be touched, making this place a unique attraction.

Ancona Historic Clock Tower

Other Cultural Attractions: Trip to Ancona, Italy

Pay your respects to the Italian war dead of WWI by visiting the Monumento ai Caduti. Located near the seashore, it is a beautiful monument that honours those who fell in the First World War. In addition to the striking columns, it also contains inscriptions from Roman-era poets.

At night, this monument is also lit-up. So if you’re into photography, this place offers a great venue to practice your night shots.

Next, descend a set of steps from the war memorial to Grotte del Passetto. Located along the seashore at the base of a cliff, they are tunnels burrowed into the bedrock by local fishers. From the early 20th century to the present day, they’ve served as sheds for their equipment.

More Cultural Attractions

These fishers painted the gates of these tunnels a series of brilliant colours. Because of this, they are excellent photo subjects. But even if you aren’t big into photography, this spot is a great place to enjoy the seashore with locals, as they often hang out here.

However, as fun as this area can be, it isn’t the best place to swim. For that, you’ll want to head out to Baia di Portonovo. Out here, you’ll find pebble beaches and crystal clear waters. To be clear, this isn’t Rimini – you’ll want to pack some Aqua shoes.

However, locals love this place, and we think you will too. After enjoying a swim on a hot day, try some local seafood from one of the hole-in-the-restaurants nearby.

End your time in Ancona by spending an evening in Piazza del Plebiscito di Ancona. Along its perimeter, you’ll find numerous churches, palaces, and museums. After discovering them, take a seat in a sidewalk cafe and watch Ancona locals go about their lives.

source: Top Tourist Places on YouTube

Top 20 Things To Do in Ancona, Italy For Visitors

Let’s dive into the top 20 things that make Ancona an unforgettable destination for any traveler.

Ancona historic rustic building with flags

1. Visit the Cathedral of San Ciriaco

Perched on the Guasco hill, the Cathedral of San Ciriaco offers panoramic views of the city and the sea. This Byzantine-Romanesque church, built on the ruins of a Greek acropolis, is a testament to Ancona’s ancient history. Inside, you can admire the impressive art and architecture, including a stunning 11th-century crypt. The cathedral’s elevated position makes it a perfect spot for sunset or sunrise views over the Adriatic.

2. Explore the Arch of Trajan

The Arch of Trajan, standing at the entrance to Ancona’s port, is one of the best-preserved Roman triumphal arches. Erected in 115 AD, it commemorates Emperor Trajan’s expansion of the port. The intricate carvings and inscriptions on the arch provide insight into Roman engineering and artistry. It’s a poignant reminder of Ancona’s strategic importance in ancient times.

3. Stroll Through Parco del Cardeto

Parco del Cardeto offers a green escape in the heart of Ancona, featuring walking paths, picnic areas, and breathtaking views of the sea. The park is also home to a historic Jewish cemetery, adding a layer of cultural history to your visit. It’s an ideal spot for a leisurely stroll or a quiet moment to enjoy nature. Birdwatchers will find this park particularly appealing, as it’s a habitat for various species.

4. Discover the Ancona Lighthouse (Faro di Ancona)

The Ancona Lighthouse, located on a pier in the port, is an iconic symbol of the city. You can take a walk along the pier to reach the lighthouse, enjoying the sea breeze and watching boats come and go. Although the lighthouse itself is not open to the public, its presence adds a picturesque element to the port area. The walk is especially romantic at sunset, with the lighthouse silhouette against the colorful sky.

5. Visit the Museo Archeologico Nazionale delle Marche

Situated in the 16th-century Palazzo Ferretti, this museum houses an extensive collection of artifacts from the Marche region’s history. From prehistoric times through Roman occupation and into the Middle Ages, the exhibits provide a comprehensive look at the area’s past. Highlights include Roman mosaics and the richly decorated Etruscan Bronzes. It’s a must-visit for history buffs and anyone interested in the deep roots of Italian culture.

6. Enjoy a Day at Portonovo Beach

Nestled within the Conero Regional Park, Portonovo Beach is renowned for its clear waters and white pebbles. It’s a perfect spot for swimming, sunbathing, and enjoying water sports in a natural setting. The beach is surrounded by lush greenery, offering a stark contrast to the blue Adriatic Sea. Several restaurants nearby serve fresh seafood, allowing you to dine with a view.

7. Take a Boat Tour of the Riviera del Conero

The Riviera del Conero boasts some of the most stunning coastal scenery in the Adriatic, with cliffs dropping into the turquoise sea. A boat tour allows you to explore hidden coves, secluded beaches, and the dramatic coastline from a unique perspective. Some tours offer the chance to snorkel in crystal-clear waters. It’s an unforgettable way to experience the natural beauty surrounding Ancona.

8. Explore the Roman Amphitheatre

Ancona’s Roman Amphitheatre, dating back to the 1st century AD, is a testament to the city’s ancient past. Though much of it is in ruins, you can still sense the grandeur of the structure that once hosted gladiatorial games. It’s situated near the city center, making it easily accessible for a quick historical excursion. The amphitheatre’s setting, partially carved into the hillside, offers a glimpse into Roman architectural ingenuity.

9. Relax in Piazza del Plebiscito

Piazza del Plebiscito, also known as Piazza del Papa, is the heart of Ancona’s social life. The square is lined with cafes and historic buildings, including the Church of San Domenico, which houses artworks by Titian. It’s a great place to enjoy an espresso, people-watch, and soak in the atmosphere of Ancona. The statue of Pope Clement XII, after whom the square was once named, stands prominently in the center.

10. Hike Monte Conero

For outdoor enthusiasts, hiking Monte Conero offers trails with varying degrees of difficulty, all promising rewarding views of the Adriatic Sea and the surrounding countryside. The mountain’s flora and fauna add to the beauty of the hike, with the scent of pine and the sight of wild orchids in spring. Several trails lead to secluded beaches, offering a refreshing dip after a hike. It’s a natural oasis just a short distance from the city, perfect for a day trip.

11. Taste the Local Wines

The Marche region is known for its exquisite wines, and Ancona is no exception. Visit local vineyards and wineries to taste Verdicchio, Rosso Conero, and other regional varieties. Many wineries offer guided tours and tastings, providing insight into the winemaking process. It’s a delightful way to immerse yourself in the local culture and cuisine.

12. Visit the Church of Santa Maria della Piazza

This church is a fine example of Romanesque architecture in Ancona, known for its elaborate facade featuring intricate stone carvings and a striking rose window. The interior houses ancient mosaics discovered during excavations, revealing layers of the city’s Christian heritage. Though modest in size, the church’s historical and artistic value is immense. It’s a peaceful spot for reflection amidst the hustle and bustle of the city.

13. Walk Along the Mole Vanvitelliana

The Mole Vanvitelliana, an artificial peninsula in the port of Ancona, is a remarkable example of 18th-century engineering. Originally built as a quarantine station, it now hosts exhibitions, concerts, and cultural events. The structure’s unique pentagonal shape and setting in the Adriatic make it a fascinating place to explore. The views of the sea and the city from the mole are particularly striking at sunset.

14. Enjoy the Nightlife in the Historic Center

Ancona’s historic center comes alive at night, with bars, pubs, and clubs offering a vibrant nightlife scene. From live music venues to cozy wine bars, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. The area around Piazza del Plebiscito is particularly lively, with locals and visitors mingling into the early hours. It’s a great way to experience the city’s modern-day culture and meet new people.

15. Discover the Pinacoteca Comunale

Housed in the Palazzo Bosdari, Ancona’s art gallery, the Pinacoteca Comunale, boasts a collection of paintings from the 14th to the 19th centuries. Works by artists such as Carlo Crivelli and Titian highlight the Marche region’s artistic heritage. The gallery also features temporary exhibitions and contemporary art, making it a dynamic space for art lovers. It’s a quiet retreat for those looking to immerse themselves in the beauty of Italian art.

16. Sample the Local Cuisine

Ancona’s coastal location means seafood features prominently in its cuisine. Try specialties like brodetto, a savory fish stew, and stoccafisso all’anconetana, a traditional dried cod dish. Local trattorias and seafood restaurants along the harbor offer the freshest catch. Pair your meal with a glass of regional wine for the complete Marche dining experience.

17. Explore the Forte Altavilla

Forte Altavilla, a fortress dominating the city from its strategic hilltop position, offers a glimpse into Ancona’s military past. The fort’s walls and bastions provide panoramic views of the city and the sea, making it a picturesque spot for photographers and history enthusiasts. Although access to the interior is limited, the surrounding park is open to the public. It’s a serene place for a walk, away from the city’s more crowded attractions.

18. Shop at the Local Markets

Ancona’s markets are a treasure trove of local produce, crafts, and antiques. The Mercato delle Erbe, a traditional covered market, is the perfect place to discover local flavors, from fresh fruits and vegetables to cheeses and meats. For those interested in antiques and vintage finds, the monthly antique market in Piazza Cavour is a must-visit. Shopping at these markets supports local artisans and farmers, offering a taste of the city’s vibrant community life.

19. Take a Day Trip to the Frasassi Caves

Just a short drive from Ancona, the Frasassi Caves are one of Italy’s natural wonders. Guided tours take visitors through an underground landscape of stalactites and stalagmites, illuminated to reveal their full splendor. The Grotta Grande del Vento, Europe’s largest single cavern, is a highlight of the tour. It’s an awe-inspiring experience that showcases the beauty of Italy’s natural heritage.

20. Relax at the Parco della Cittadella

The Parco della Cittadella is a peaceful oasis in Ancona, offering green spaces for relaxation and recreation. With its paths, benches, and playgrounds, it’s a favorite spot for families and anyone looking to escape the city’s hustle and bustle. The park also hosts outdoor events and performances during the summer months. It’s a great place to unwind, enjoy a picnic, or simply soak up the sun.

Brodetto is a dish worth trying in Ancona, Italy

What To Eat and Drink in Ancona, Italy

At some point in your Ancona wanderings, you’ll develop an appetite. But if you don’t feel like having a full lunch, stop somewhere that serves Salame di Fabriano as a snack. Butchers make this salami from pork shoulder or thigh meat, seasoning it with salt, pepper and sometimes garlic. After that, it gets stuffed in a wine-soaked casing and dried over a fire.

But you’ll need something to wash down this treat, so why not go with some local wine? In Ancona, you should get some Lacrima di Morro d’Alba. These wines are mostly dry, but some are sweet. Offering elements of cinnamon and blueberry, it is a fun varietal to try.

Lastly, at dinner time, find a restaurant that serves Brodetto. This meal is a tomato-based seafood stew that features an assortment of ingredients. This is because fishers prepared it with parts of their catch that they couldn’t sell. In addition to seafood, onions, garlic, and polenta/bread also accompany this dish.

Here’s a detailed guide to the culinary delights you should indulge in when visiting Ancona:

1. Brodetto all’Anconetana

This traditional fish stew is Ancona’s culinary hallmark. Prepared with a variety of locally caught fish and shellfish, it’s simmered in a savory tomato sauce with a hint of vinegar, giving it a distinctive tangy flavor. Each restaurant has its own take on this classic dish, making it a must-try for seafood lovers.

2. Stoccafisso all’Anconetana

Another iconic dish of the region, stoccafisso all’Anconetana, features stockfish (air-dried cod) prepared with a rich tomato sauce, potatoes, and olives. This hearty dish is a testament to Ancona’s love for seafood and its ability to transform simple ingredients into something extraordinary.

3. Olive all’Ascolana

Though originating from nearby Ascoli Piceno, olive all’ascolana is a beloved appetizer throughout the Marche region, including Ancona. These fried olives are stuffed with a mixture of meats, coated in breadcrumbs, and then deep-fried to perfection, offering a crispy treat with a succulent filling.

4. Vincisgrassi

This lasagna variant from the Marche region is a luxurious take on the classic, featuring layers of pasta with a rich ragù, béchamel sauce, and a generous amount of truffles or mushrooms. It’s a celebration of local flavors and a testament to the region’s culinary ingenuity.

5. Moscioli

Unique to the Conero Riviera, moscioli are wild mussels harvested from the rocks along the coast. They can be enjoyed in various ways – steamed, in pasta, or as part of a brodetto. Their fresh, briny flavor is a tribute to the pristine waters of the Adriatic.

6. Crescia Sfogliata

This flaky, layered flatbread is a common accompaniment to meals in Ancona. Made with flour, water, and lard, it’s typically cooked on a terracotta tile, giving it a distinctive texture and taste. Enjoy it with local cheeses, cold cuts, or just a drizzle of olive oil.

7. Anconetano Rosso Conero

No meal in Ancona is complete without a glass of Rosso Conero. This robust red wine, made primarily from the Montepulciano grape, is perfect for accompanying the region’s hearty dishes. Its deep flavors and aroma capture the essence of the Conero terroir.

8. Passerina and Verdicchio

For white wine enthusiasts, the Marche region offers exquisite varieties like Passerina and Verdicchio. These wines are known for their crisp acidity and floral notes, making them excellent partners for seafood dishes and lighter fare.

9. Anisetta Meletti

Originating from the Marche region, this sweet anise-flavored liqueur is a delightful way to conclude your meal. Enjoy it neat or in coffee for a traditional Italian digestive experience.

10. Fritto Misto

For those who can’t decide on one type of seafood, fritto misto offers the perfect solution. This mixed fry of seafood and vegetables is a popular street food in Ancona, showcasing the freshness and diversity of the Adriatic’s bounty.

Vincisgrassi lasagna in Ancona, Italy

Top Restaurants In Ancona, Italy

Here is a list of some of the top restaurants to consider while visiting Ancona, Italy:

1. Ristorante Giardino

Nestled in the heart of Ancona, Ristorante Giardino is celebrated for its sophisticated take on traditional Italian and Marche cuisine. Diners can expect beautifully presented dishes, made with locally sourced ingredients, in an elegant setting. The outdoor seating area, surrounded by lush greenery, offers a serene dining experience.

2. Osteria Teatro Strabacco

Osteria Teatro Strabacco brings a touch of theatrical flair to its dining experience. Known for its creative dishes that tell a story of the Marche region’s culinary heritage, this restaurant offers a warm, inviting atmosphere. Its menu changes seasonally, ensuring fresh flavors all year round.

3. Trattoria Dal Moro

A staple in Ancona’s dining scene, Trattoria Dal Moro is famed for its seafood specialties. Offering a casual yet intimate dining experience, this family-run trattoria prides itself on serving the freshest catch of the day, prepared with simplicity to highlight the natural flavors.

4. La DegOsteria

La DegOsteria combines modern culinary techniques with traditional recipes, resulting in a menu that’s both innovative and deeply rooted in the local food culture. With a focus on high-quality, seasonal ingredients, this restaurant also boasts an extensive wine list that features the best of Italian and local Marche wines.

5. Passetto Ristorante

Situated near the iconic Passetto beach, Passetto Ristorante offers stunning sea views that complement its exquisite seafood offerings. The elegant decor and sophisticated menu make it an ideal choice for special occasions or romantic dinners.

6. Agrodolce

Specializing in contemporary Italian cuisine, Agrodolce has quickly established itself as a must-visit for food enthusiasts. The restaurant’s chef creatively plays with textures and flavors, offering a unique dining experience that is both visually and gastronomically pleasing.

7. Mascalzone Chalet

For those looking for a more relaxed atmosphere without compromising on quality, Mascalzone Chalet is the perfect spot. Located on the beach, it’s known for its laid-back vibe and exceptional seafood dishes, making it a favorite among locals and tourists alike.

8. Il Clandestino Susci Bar

Owned by the renowned chef Moreno Cedroni, Il Clandestino Susci Bar offers an innovative fusion of Italian and Japanese cuisine, right on the shores of Portonovo Bay. This unique dining concept, combined with breathtaking views, makes for an unforgettable culinary adventure.

9. Enoteca Azzurra

Perfect for wine aficionados, Enoteca Azzurra not only serves excellent local and international wines but also offers a menu of refined dishes designed to complement the wine selections. The knowledgeable staff are always on hand to recommend perfect pairings.

10. Rosso Conero

Located at the foot of the Conero Mountain, Rosso Conero merges rustic charm with a menu that pays homage to the region’s agricultural bounty. The restaurant is especially known for its use of truffles, mushrooms, and meats, all sourced locally.

Ancona high vantage point views

Tours For Visitors To Ancona, Italy

Ancona has a variety of tours for visitors to choose from. Here are some recommended tours:

1. Historical City Walking Tours

Discover the heart of Ancona through a guided walking tour that takes you through its ancient streets and landmarks. Learn about the city’s Greek origins, explore Roman ruins like the Arch of Trajan, and visit medieval structures. These tours often culminate at the Cathedral of San Ciriaco, offering panoramic views of the city and the sea.

2. Wine Tasting Tours in the Marche Countryside

Embark on a journey through the rolling hills of the Marche region, renowned for its vineyards. Wine tasting tours offer visitors a chance to sample local wines like Verdicchio, Rosso Conero, and Pecorino. Learn about the winemaking process from local producers and enjoy the scenic beauty of the countryside.

3. Culinary Experiences and Cooking Classes

Italian cuisine is celebrated worldwide, and Ancona is no exception. Join a culinary tour to explore local markets, learn the secrets of Italian cooking from local chefs, and enjoy a hands-on experience preparing traditional dishes. These tours often end with a delightful meal you’ve helped create.

4. Boat Tours Along the Riviera del Conero

Experience Ancona from a different perspective with a boat tour along the Riviera del Conero. Marvel at the stunning white cliffs, explore secluded beaches accessible only by sea, and enjoy a refreshing swim in the crystal-clear waters of the Adriatic.

5. Hiking and Nature Tours in the Conero Park

For nature enthusiasts, guided hikes through the Parco del Conero offer an opportunity to discover the area’s natural beauty. These tours take you through lush forests to breathtaking viewpoints overlooking the sea. It’s a great way to appreciate the region’s biodiversity and pristine landscapes.

6. Cycling Tours

Explore the countryside and coastal roads of Ancona and its surroundings on a cycling tour. These guided excursions cater to all levels of cyclists and offer a unique way to visit off-the-beaten-path locations, from small hilltop towns to picturesque vineyards.

7. Ancona Port and City Highlights Tour

Ideal for cruise ship passengers or those short on time, this tour focuses on Ancona’s main attractions. Visit the city’s most iconic landmarks, learn about its rich history, and enjoy some free time to wander through its lively squares and markets.

8. Art and Architecture Tours

Dive into Ancona’s artistic heritage with a tour focused on its architecture and art. Visit galleries, churches adorned with beautiful artworks, and buildings showcasing the city’s unique Liberty (Italian Art Nouveau) style. An expert guide will illuminate the stories behind the art and artists that have shaped Ancona.

9. Truffle Hunting Experience

Experience the thrill of hunting for truffles in the forests around Ancona. Accompanied by a local truffle hunter and their trained dogs, you’ll learn about this prized ingredient. The tour typically ends with a tasting of truffle-based dishes, offering a true taste of the Marche region’s culinary treasures.

10. Night Tours and Ghost Walks

Discover a different side of Ancona with a guided night tour or ghost walk. These tours combine historical facts with local legends, taking you through dimly lit alleys and ancient buildings to uncover the city’s mysteries and tales that come alive after dark.

Ancona windows with shutters

Ancona Accommodations Guide: Hotels, Guesthouses and Hostels

From luxurious hotels that pamper you with opulence to cozy guesthouses brimming with local charm and hostels that welcome backpackers with open arms, Ancona has it all. Here’s a comprehensive guide to help you find the perfect place to stay during your visit to this captivating Italian city.

Luxury Hotels

Grand Hotel Palace

Nestled in the heart of Ancona, the Grand Hotel Palace combines historical elegance with modern luxury. Guests can enjoy breathtaking views of the port, exquisite dining experiences, and rooms furnished with sophistication and comfort in mind.

SeePort Hotel

Overlooking the Adriatic Sea, SeePort Hotel offers a blend of contemporary design and premium amenities. With its rooftop terrace, guests can sip on cocktails while watching the sunset over the harbor, making it an ideal spot for those seeking relaxation and luxury.

Mid-Range Hotels

Hotel Fortuna

Situated near the Ancona train station, Hotel Fortuna is known for its convenience and welcoming atmosphere. It provides comfortable accommodations and easy access to the city’s main attractions, making it a great option for travelers looking to explore Ancona on foot.

EGO Hotel

A modern hotel that stands out for its innovative design and personalized services, EGO Hotel offers a unique stay experience. With a wellness center and on-site dining options, it caters to guests looking for comfort and style.

Budget-Friendly Hotels

Hotel della Vittoria

Located close to the city center, Hotel della Vittoria offers simple yet comfortable rooms at an affordable price. It’s an excellent choice for travelers on a tight budget who don’t want to compromise on location and quality.

Albergo Italia

Albergo Italia is a budget hotel that provides basic amenities and a friendly environment. It’s perfect for visitors looking for a no-frills place to rest after a day of exploring.

Guesthouses and B&Bs

Villa Ngiolo Bed & Breakfast

Offering a homey and intimate setting, Villa Ngiolo Bed & Breakfast is nestled in a tranquil area just outside the city center. It’s renowned for its warm hospitality, homemade breakfasts, and rooms that boast character and comfort.

La Mansarda di Lorenzo

La Mansarda di Lorenzo features beautifully decorated rooms with attention to detail, located in a charming part of Ancona. It’s the ideal choice for those seeking a quiet retreat with a personal touch.


Ostello Per La Gioventù Ancona

Catering to backpackers and young travelers, Ostello Per La Gioventù in Ancona is a vibrant and friendly hostel. It offers shared dormitories, communal spaces for socializing, and plenty of information on exploring the city and surrounding areas.

Ancona Hostel

Ancona Hostel provides budget-friendly accommodations with both private rooms and shared dorms. It’s a great base for travelers looking to meet fellow wanderers and discover Ancona’s hidden gems together.

Alternative Stays

Airbnb and Vacation Rentals

For those seeking a more personalized stay, Ancona offers a variety of Airbnb and vacation rental options. From quaint apartments in the historic center to seaside villas offering stunning views, these accommodations provide a home away from home experience.

No matter where you choose to stay, Ancona’s accommodations are as diverse and inviting as the city itself. Whether you’re indulging in the luxury of a seaside hotel, cozying up in a charming B&B, or making new friends in a lively hostel, Ancona promises a welcoming and memorable stay.

Urbino is worth visiting on a day trip from Italy

Day Trips From Ancona, Italy

Embarking on day trips from Ancona opens up a world of diverse experiences, from exploring ancient caves to lounging on pristine beaches, and wandering through historic towns. Here’s a curated list of day trips that showcase the rich tapestry of landscapes, history, and culture surrounding Ancona.

1. Riviera del Conero

Just south of Ancona, the Riviera del Conero dazzles with its white pebble beaches, crystal-clear waters, and rugged cliffs. The area is a haven for nature lovers, offering hiking trails with breathtaking views of the Adriatic Sea. Don’t miss out on visiting the picturesque towns of Sirolo and Numana, where you can enjoy fresh seafood and local wines.

2. Frasassi Caves

The Frasassi Caves are one of Europe’s most complex cave systems, located about an hour’s drive from Ancona. Embark on a guided tour to marvel at the stunning formations of stalactites and stalagmites illuminated in dramatic lighting. The caves’ interior beauty is a testament to nature’s artistry over millions of years.

3. Urbino

A UNESCO World Heritage site, Urbino is a Renaissance jewel nestled in the hills of the Marche region. The birthplace of Raphael, Urbino boasts a stunning Ducal Palace, housing one of Italy’s most important collections of Renaissance art. The town’s historic center, with its ancient buildings and panoramic views, offers a glimpse into the past.

4. Loreto

Famous for the Basilica della Santa Casa, Loreto is a significant pilgrimage site where the house of the Virgin Mary is believed to have been transported by angels. The basilica’s stunning architecture and art, including works by Melozzo da Forlì and Luca Signorelli, make it a must-visit for history buffs and art enthusiasts alike.

5. Gubbio

Gubbio is one of Umbria’s oldest towns, known for its medieval streets and Gothic architecture. Highlights include the Palazzo dei Consoli, the Roman Theater, and the funivia, a unique cable car that offers stunning views of the town and surrounding countryside. Gubbio’s rich history and vibrant cultural scene provide a fascinating day out.

6. Gradara

Gradara’s castle, the scene of the legendary love story between Paolo and Francesca, recounted by Dante in his Divine Comedy, is a beautifully preserved medieval structure. The town, surrounded by fortified walls, offers a journey back in time, with its picturesque streets and panoramic views of the Marche countryside.

7. Monte Conero

For those seeking outdoor adventure, Monte Conero offers a variety of hiking trails that lead to secluded beaches and offer spectacular views of the Adriatic coast. The area is also home to diverse flora and fauna, making it a perfect spot for nature enthusiasts.

8. Recanati

The hometown of the famous poet Giacomo Leopardi, Recanati boasts a rich literary heritage. Visitors can explore Leopardi’s house, now a museum, and the hill of Infinity, immortalized in one of his most famous poems. The town’s quaint streets and historic buildings offer a peaceful retreat.

9. San Marino

Though a bit further afield, the Republic of San Marino is an independent microstate perched atop a mountain, offering stunning views, historic architecture, and unique shopping opportunities. Its three towers, ancient walls, and narrow streets are steeped in history, making it a fascinating day trip destination.

Each of these destinations offers a unique experience, from the serene beauty of the Adriatic coast to the profound depths of ancient caves and the rich tapestry of Renaissance and medieval towns. Venturing out from Ancona not only enriches your travel experience but also deepens your appreciation for Italy’s diverse landscapes and cultural heritage.

Views of Passetto Ancona

Ancona Transportation Guide

Here’s a comprehensive travel guide to help you smoothly traverse Ancona, from arrival to exploring its picturesque locales.

Arriving in Ancona

By Air

Ancona Falconara Airport (AOI), also known as Marche Airport, is the main gateway for air travelers. Located about 12 kilometers west of Ancona, it connects the region with Italian and European cities. Regular bus services and taxis link the airport to Ancona’s city center and the main train station, Ancona Stazione.

By Train

Ancona Railway Station is a crucial node on the Adriatic railway line, offering connections to major Italian cities like Rome, Bologna, Milan, and beyond. The station is conveniently situated in the city center, making it a practical choice for travelers looking to explore Ancona or venture further into the Marche region.

By Sea

Ancona’s port is one of the Adriatic Sea’s most important, offering ferry services to destinations like Greece, Croatia, and Turkey. The ferry terminal is well-equipped and located near the city center, providing easy access to public transportation and accommodations.

Getting Around Ancona

On Foot

Exploring Ancona’s historic center on foot is not only feasible but also highly recommended. Many of the city’s attractions, including the Cathedral of San Ciriaco, the Arch of Trajan, and Piazza del Plebiscito, are within walking distance of each other.

By Bus

Ancona’s public bus system, operated by Conerobus, offers extensive coverage of the city and its outskirts, including routes to the airport, railway station, and popular beaches. Tickets can be purchased at tobacconists, newsstands, or directly on the bus.

By Car

Renting a car can be a great option for those looking to explore the countryside and coastal areas surrounding Ancona. Several rental agencies operate at the airport and in the city. Remember, driving in the city center can be challenging due to narrow streets and limited parking.

By Scooter

Renting a scooter gives you the flexibility to navigate Ancona’s streets and scenic routes along the Riviera del Conero. It’s an ideal choice for short distances and for experiencing the city like a local.

By Bike

With dedicated bike paths and scenic routes, cycling is a pleasant way to see Ancona and the surrounding areas. Bike rental shops are available in the city, offering daily rentals.

By Taxi

Taxis offer a convenient, though more expensive, way to get around, especially late at night when public transportation options are limited. Taxi stands are located at key points in the city, including the railway station, or they can be hailed by phone.

Florence is worth visiting after your trip to Ancona

Where To Visit After Your Trip To Ancona?

After exploring the coastal charm and historical richness of Ancona, Italy beckons with a plethora of destinations each offering its unique allure. Here’s a travel guide to 20 must-visit destinations post-Ancona, perfect for extending your Italian adventure.

1. Florence

The cradle of the Renaissance, Florence, is a living museum of art and architecture. Wander the Uffizi Gallery to witness Botticelli’s masterpieces or marvel at Michelangelo’s David at the Accademia. The city’s narrow streets lead to the majestic Duomo, a marvel of marble. Every corner of Florence tells a story of creativity, power, and beauty.

2. Rome

The Eternal City, where ancient ruins meet vibrant street life. Stand in the Colosseum’s shadow, where gladiators once battled, or toss a coin into the Trevi Fountain to ensure your return. The Vatican City, a country within a city, houses the awe-inspiring St. Peter’s Basilica and the Sistine Chapel. Rome is a feast for the senses, steeped in history and bursting with life.

3. Venice

A city of canals and serenades, where gondolas glide past centuries-old palazzos. St. Mark’s Square, with its soaring basilica, is a testament to Venice’s former maritime power. The Rialto Bridge and its bustling market capture the city’s soul. Venice is a dreamlike experience, floating timelessly on its lagoon.

4. Milan

Italy’s fashion capital, where modern skyscrapers stand alongside Gothic cathedrals. The Duomo di Milano is an architectural masterpiece, while Leonardo da Vinci’s “The Last Supper” calls Santa Maria delle Grazie its home. Milan is a city of contrasts, blending high fashion with historic charm. Its vibrant nightlife and culinary scene make it a city that never sleeps.

5. Siena

In the heart of Tuscany, Siena is famed for its medieval cityscape and the historic Palio horse race. The Piazza del Campo, the main square, is a marvel of medieval architecture. The Duomo di Siena is a gothic masterpiece, filled with treasures. Siena is a journey back in time, embodying the spirit of the Middle Ages.

6. Naples

The soulful city of Naples offers a gritty yet beautiful chaos. It’s the birthplace of pizza, with culinary traditions that are a point of local pride. The historic center, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is a labyrinth of history. Nearby, the ruins of Pompeii and the menacing Mount Vesuvius offer a glimpse into ancient life and nature’s power.

7. Bologna

Known as “La Dotta, La Rossa, La Grassa” (The Learned, The Red, The Fat), Bologna is renowned for its university, terracotta buildings, and rich cuisine. The city’s porticos stretch for miles, offering sheltered walks through history. The Piazza Maggiore is a lively hub, framed by grand medieval and Renaissance buildings. Bologna is a delight for the mind and the palate.

8. Turin

Turin, the first capital of Italy, is an elegant city known for its baroque architecture, lush parks, and the iconic Mole Antonelliana. It’s a cultural hub, with museums dedicated to cinema, Egyptian antiquities, and, of course, the famous Shroud of Turin. The city’s cafes and aperitivo culture make it a socialite’s paradise. Turin is a blend of royalty and modernity, steeped in history and innovation.

9. Cinque Terre

Five picturesque villages perched on rugged cliffs overlooking the Ligurian Sea, Cinque Terre is a colorful marvel. Connected by walking trails, such as the famous Sentiero Azzurro, it’s a hiker’s dream. The villages boast charming houses, vineyards, and breathtaking sea views. Cinque Terre is a testament to picturesque Italy, offering postcard views at every turn.

10. Perugia

Perugia, the capital of Umbria, sits atop a hill offering expansive views of the green heart of Italy. It’s known for its defensive walls, historic center, and the annual Umbria Jazz Festival. The city is a blend of art, culture, and chocolate, home to the famous Perugina factory. Perugia invites exploration, from its Etruscan roots to its vibrant modern life.

11. Verona

The setting for Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet,” Verona is a city of romance. Its Roman amphitheater hosts world-class operas, while Juliet’s balcony draws lovers from around the globe. The city’s medieval charm is complemented by its vibrant piazzas and local cuisine. Verona is a celebration of love, art, and history.

12. Lucca

Encircled by well-preserved Renaissance walls, Lucca is a peaceful retreat into Tuscany’s historic and cultural richness. Its cobblestone streets, elegant palaces, and quaint shops embody the Italian dolce vita. The city’s numerous churches and towers, including the unique Torre Guinigi, offer insights into its past. Lucca is a tranquil haven, perfect for leisurely exploration.

13. Pisa

Beyond the leaning tower, Pisa offers a wealth of architectural and artistic treasures. The Piazza dei Miracoli is a UNESCO World Heritage site, home to the tower, the cathedral, and the baptistery. The city’s university contributes to its lively atmosphere, blending students with history. Pisa is a gateway to Tuscany, showcasing more than its famous tilt.

14. Genoa

Genoa, a maritime powerhouse in medieval times, boasts a rich history and a vibrant port. The city’s caruggi (narrow lanes) open into majestic piazzas and reveal hidden gems. The Aquarium of Genoa is one of Europe’s largest, offering a deep dive into marine life. Genoa is a mix of the grandiose and the humble, with stories lurking around every corner.

15. Capri

An island of mythical charm, Capri has enchanted visitors from Roman emperors to modern-day celebrities. Its blue grotto, dramatic cliffs, and designer boutiques make it a luxury escape. The Piazzetta is the heart of island life, a perfect spot for people-watching. Capri is an island dream, blending natural beauty with a touch of glamour.

16. Assisi

The spiritual town of Assisi, birthplace of St. Francis, is a pilgrimage site set against the backdrop of the Umbrian hills. Its Basilica of San Francesco is a masterpiece of medieval art and architecture. The town’s serene atmosphere is punctuated by religious festivals and stunning views. Assisi is a journey of faith and history, offering peace and reflection.

17. Padua

Padua is one of Veneto’s oldest cities, where arcaded streets and historic cafes tell tales of a rich past. The Scrovegni Chapel, with Giotto’s frescoes, is an art lover’s paradise. The city’s university, one of Europe’s oldest, injects vibrancy and youth. Padua is a blend of scholarly tradition and artistic beauty.

18. Sorrento

Perched above the Bay of Naples, Sorrento dazzles with its cliffside gardens, deep valleys, and cultural vivacity. It’s a gateway to the Amalfi Coast, Pompeii, and Capri. The city’s limoncello, inlaid woodwork, and marquetry are reflections of its artisanal heritage. Sorrento is a sensory delight, offering breathtaking views and culinary wonders.

19. Ravenna

Known for its stunning Byzantine mosaics, Ravenna is a city where art and history converge. Its basilicas and baptisteries, adorned with ancient mosaics, are UNESCO World Heritage sites. The city’s quiet charm is complemented by its literary significance, once home to Dante Alighieri. Ravenna is a mosaic of cultural and artistic treasures.

20. Taormina

Sicily’s Taormina enchants with its medieval streets, Greek theater, and views of Mount Etna. The town’s mix of cultures is reflected in its architecture and cuisine. Its beaches and islands offer a seaside retreat, while the Teatro Antico hosts modern performances. Taormina is a celebration of Sicilian beauty, history, and hospitality.

Ancona harbour views in Italy

Ancona Travel Guide: Final Thoughts

As our journey through Ancona comes to an end, it’s clear this city is Italy’s hidden jewel, a place where history and modernity dance in harmony against the backdrop of the Adriatic Sea. This guide aimed to peel back the layers of Ancona’s rich tapestry, from its ancient roots to its vibrant present. Here are some final reflections on why this enchanting city deserves a place on every traveler’s itinerary.

A City That Lives Its History

Timeless Ancona

Walking through Ancona is like stepping into a living history book. Each corner of the city, from the ancient Arch of Trajan to the serene vistas from the Cathedral of San Ciriaco, tells a tale of millennia. But it’s not just about the past; it’s how the past intertwines with the daily lives of those who call Ancona home. This city doesn’t just showcase history; it lives it, breathes it, and invites you to become a part of it.

Culinary Delights Await

Savor the Flavor

Ancona’s culinary scene is a testament to its cultural richness and seaside location. Here, the freshness of the Adriatic meets the rustic charm of Italian cuisine, creating dishes that are both simple and profoundly satisfying. Whether it’s enjoying seafood by the harbor or discovering the local wines, Ancona offers a feast for the senses that remains long in memory.

Nature’s Embrace

The Great Outdoors

Beyond the urban charm, Ancona opens the door to the natural wonders of the Marche region. The Conero Peninsula, with its breathtaking cliffs and hidden beaches, offers an escape where the beauty of Italy’s landscape is on full display. It’s a reminder that Ancona is not just a city but a gateway to exploring the broader beauty of the Italian Adriatic.

An Unforgettable Journey

An Invitation to Explore

Ancona invites travelers to explore, discover, and immerse themselves in a city that epitomizes the beauty of Italy. It’s a place for those who seek the road less traveled, offering experiences that are unique, authentic, and deeply personal. Ancona is a city where every visit leaves a lasting impression, encouraging you to see Italy through a different lens.

In concluding this travel guide, it’s hoped that Ancona sparks curiosity, urging you to wander its streets, engage with its history, and indulge in its culinary treasures. Let Ancona be more than a destination on your journey; let it be an experience that enriches, educates, and inspires. Whether you’re drawn by the call of history, the allure of the sea, or the simple joy of Italian life, Ancona awaits with open arms and endless possibilities.

Ancona distinct walled architecture

Ode To Ancona

In Ancona’s hills and by its shore, The Adriatic’s beauty is in store. Stroll through ancient streets so quaint, And savor local wines without restraint.

Visit the Cathedral, so grand and tall, Or climb the hill to the castle’s wall. Take in the views of the sea and land, And let yourself be charmed by its hand.

Let the fresh seafood tempt your taste, And the sweet Conero wine go to waste. Let the waves lull you into a trance, As you take in Ancona’s romance.

For travelers who seek both old and new, Ancona has much to offer for you. From history to art, and sun and sea, Ancona awaits, for you to come and see.

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