Marches - Travel Guide and Tourism Information for Marches, Italy
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Provinces: Ancona, Ascoli Piceno, Macerata, Pesaro, Urbino
An essentially mountainous and hilly region, facing the Adriatic Sea. The mountain area is rugged, with narrow valleys, deep gorges and numerous rushing, sometimes inaccessible streams. The coastline presents rolling hills as well as flat plains crossed by rivers.
A renaissance town, the birthplace of Raphael. Several of his works may be viewed in the art gallery at the Palazzo Ducale, along with works by Piero della Francesca and Titian. Raphael’s childhood home is also open for viewing; You will find it in Via Raffaello that runs up from Piazza della Repubblica.
The hub of the town is this animated Piazza, ideal to start your visit. In the Palazzo Ducale, among the several paintings, the Duke's Studiolo is the most unusual room in the palace. His tiny study is entirely decorated in exquisite trompe l'oeil inlaid woodwork panels, some based on designs by Botticelli.
You may also visit the vast warren of cellars, kitchens, laundry rooms, stables and even an ice store in the sotterranei or basements. Oratorio di S. Giovanni Battista in Via Barocci to see a small church entirely decorated in 1416 with wall-to-ceiling frescoes by the Marchegiani painters Jacopo and Lorenzo Salimbeni. A rarely visited but nevertheless delightful stop is the Orto Botanico. This small, walled botanic garden is full of rare plants.
Attractive seaside resort, a thriving fishing port and an important manufacturing centre. At the heart of the city lies the wide main square, Piazza del Popolo with the clean-lined Renaissance Palazzo Ducale. Along Via Rossini you'll find on your right the modest house where Italy's great opera composer Gioachino Rossini was born in 1792. Step inside the towns’s Cattedrale to see the remarkable mosaic floor uncovered in 2000. The beautiful early Christian work dates from the 6th Century and can be admired through glass panels set in the supended modern floor.
The city was once noted for its ceramic workshops that turned out the brightly painted earthenware known as majolica. In the Musei Civici (Civic Museums) in Piazza Toschi Mosca you can browse through one of Italy's finest collections of Renaissance and Baroque pottery. You may view Giovanni Bellini's masterpiece, the Coronation of the Virgin in the adjoining Pinacoteca. On the sea-front you’ll notice one of the city's most flamboyant buildings, the Villino Ruggeri. This heavily stuccoed confection is one of the finest examples of the Italian Liberty style.
The town’s landmark is the Medieval Cathedral of San Ciriaco, a mix of Romanesque and Gothic. On Corso Mazzini see the 16th century Fontana del Calamo, a regimented row of 13 masked spouts. Get a bird's eye views of the port from Piazza Stracca. A few steps further is Palazzo Ferretti, home of the Museo Archeologico delle Marche, an outstanding collection of antique nick-nacks - black and red Attic vases, Etruscan bronzes, Iron Age jewellery. Take Via Pizzecolli to get in the heart of the oldest part of the city. Palazzo Bosdari hosts Ancona's Pinacoteca; paintings to look for here are Crivelli's chilly Madonna and Child, Titian's Virgin with Child and Saints, and Lorenzo Lotto's Sacra Conversazione.
|Marches, Italy - Travel Guide and Tourism Information|