In Central Italy, just off the eastern coast, the beautiful city of Ascoli Piceno sits with the rising slopes of mountains on three sides and at the confluence of the Tronto and Castellano Rivers nearby. Although the city can usually be seen in a day’s time, it captivates the hearts of visitors with its quaint buildings and breathtaking open-air squares making it a destination that travelers often want to visit again. This delightful city has a charming small town feel to it, making travelers feel as though they are caught in the pages of a lovely Italian fairytale.

The traffic free Piazza del Popolo is widely considered to be one of the most beautiful squares in Italy with a travertine paved road that is frequently filled with pedestrians and bike riders milling about and simply enjoying the day. This square is one of the best people-watching spots in Ascoli Piceno and a place where many go to relax and appreciate a sunny day. Another popular town square is that of Piazza Arringo. Though smaller in size than Piazza del Popolo, this square is magnificent as well and is home to Palazzo Comunale (the Town Hall), the Duomo, and the Pinacoteca Civica Art gallery.

Some sites near the Piazza del Popolo that are not to be missed include the magnificent statue of Pope Paul III, an arcaded

Renaissance courtyard, and the simple Gothic architecture of the Basilica of San Francesco and its bell tower. Before you leave the area, walk the arcades of the courtyard and do not forget to visit one of the charming local cafés for an Ascoli Piceno specialty, anisetta liqueur.

Agriculture plays an important role in the city with wheat, olives, and fruits accounting for the majority of the agricultural industry. The area’s cultivation of green olives is responsible for one of the city’s most famous meals, olive all’ascolana. This traditional and savory dish consists of plump green olives that are stuffed with minced meat and then fried.

In general, the Ascoli Piceno diet is based heavily on locally grown produce. In addition to the above, olives, truffles, anise, onions, capers, garlic, and fennel are all abundant in the area and are used to enhance the flavors of mealtime experiences. Just as the olives contribute to olive all’ascolana, anise is commonly used to flavor confections like sweet cakes.

The gorgeous city of Ascoli Piceno has ancient origins dating back to the BC era and is thought to have even predated the founding of the city of Rome by several centuries. Over the years, the city’s ownership changed hands fairly often before it was officially annexed to the Unified Kingdom of Italy in the mid-nineteenth century.

If traveling to Ascoli Piceno, the most efficient way to reach the city is to travel by car, either by rental car or private driver. If you are planning to fly into Italy, the closest major international airport is Rome Leonardo da Vinci Fiumicino Airport (FCO).

When it comes to traveling within the city, there is far too much beauty to waste sunny days tucked away inside a car or bus. The majority of locals and visitors relish traveling the main areas of the city by foot or on bike. In several areas of the city, including large piazze, automotive traffic is restricted or banned altogether. This mandate allows pedestrians to move freely about these areas and adds to the old-world charm of the city.


The central town of Ascoli Piceno is situated within its namesake province and the larger region of Marche, Italy. On average, this town is one of the smaller cities in Italy and largely for that reason, visitors say it emanates a warm and inviting atmosphere.

This picturesque town is cocooned in mountains on three sides with two natural parks sharing its border, Parco Nazionale dei Monti della Larga and Parco Nazionale dei Monti Sibillini. Adding to its natural green and rural surroundings, Ascoli Piceno sits directly at the convergence of two beautiful rivers, Castellano and Tronto. As charming as this small town is, its natural surroundings are simply beautiful.


With Ascoli Piceno’s close proximity to the Adriatic Sea, the town generally experiences comfortable temperatures for most of the year. In the summer, the area enjoys average highs in the seventies (degrees Fahrenheit) with lows in the sixties. In the fall, the summer lows become the high for the season with lows usually in the fifties. Winter brings even cooler temperatures with average highs staying in the forties and lows hovering around the upper thirties. Springtime highs bounce around in the fifties and the city generally experiences lows in the forties.

Regardless of the temperature, Ascoli Piceno experiences a fair amount of rain year-round. The fall months tend to be the rainiest with an average of three or more inches of rain per month. The season experiencing the lowest amount of rainfall is summer.

With mostly enjoyable weather and an average of only two inches of rain per month, summer can be a wonderful time to visit this part of Central Italy.


Although the event of Carnevale is celebrated throughout much of Italy, no one celebrates it better than the city of Ascoli Piceno. In the spring, this multi-day event begins with an annual mask parade and tons of entertainment. The Carnevale in Ascoli is one of the most traditional in Italy, but is also known to have a bit of modern-day flair. Festivities lead up to Fat Tuesday when the Piazza del Popolo comes alive with elaborate costumes and masks. Even local restaurants and eateries get in on the act by offering a special Carnevale menu that delights visitors and locals alike.

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