FROM THE ANCIENT PICENES TO ITALY

Ascoli Piceno is a very beautiful town rich in monuments and history, and famous for its production of wine and green Ascolan olives.

History

Its origin is attributed to the Picenes, who built the town there due to the excellent defensive position of the location. It was conquered by the Romans in 286 BC, but its relations with the Romans were hostile to the extent that Ascoli Piceno promoted the social war against Rome itself. After being plundered, the town rose again in the IV century, when it became the capital of Piceno Suburbicario thanks to the work of the administrative division effected by Massimiano. Subsequently, the Marches town passed under several dominations (Longobards, French, the Pontifical Sate, Malatesta, Sforza) until 1860, when the town was united by plebiscite to Italy and declared the administrative centre of one of the four provinces of the Marches. Since then the town has extended to the east and north, and its inhabitants have trebled.

The city  and its monuments

There are many archaeological remains extant to the present day, to testify the various dominations. The following are from the Roman epoch: the bridge of Solestà and Cecco, destroyed during the second world war, the theatre, the Gemina gate and the ruins of the Capitolium on the dell’Annunziata hill. The chess-board plan based on the Roman plan dates from the medieval period. We should mention the following architectural works: piazza del Popolo, the town\'s centre, surrounded by Renaissance palazzos and closed at one end by the Gothic church of San Francesco; palazzo dei Capitani which, along with its tower, is from the XIII century, and was modified several times;  piazza Arringo, the town\'s oldest, near the piazza del Popolo; finally, the Baptistery, with an octagonal shape on a square plan, and the Cathedral, which was built over the remains of a Roman basilica.

The geographical area

The sea, countryside, art, history and culture. The attractions of the Ascoli Piceno territory are very many: from the long sandy beaches of the coast, through to the Spas such as Acquasanta. Castel di Lama is interesting through its XVIII villa, Arquata del Tronto is ideal for summer holidays, but is also interesting for the XIII stronghold with its Roman and Renaissance buildings. Appignano del Tronto and Offida are known for their hand crafted lace and guipure.  San Benedetto del Tronto mainly consists of a seafront decorated with palms, alcandras and maritime pines overlooking large efficiently equipped sandy beaches. Grottammare stands on a hill, in medieval style with characteristic houses and narrow streets. However, it is remembered as a seaside resort attracting plenty of tourists.