September 16, 2001:
We arrived in Ascoli in the late afternoon. We checked into our lovely room at Residenza 100 Torre. The friendly staff showed us to our room where everything was done in shades of white and cream with a lovely marble bathroom and shower. There is an elevator, private parking lot, and cheerful "winter garden" breakfast room with a skylight. The location is just three blocks from Piazza del Popolo, and an easy walk to restaurants and shopping!
We wandered through town and had wine at both piazze, checking out some great shops along the way. Friday night passigiata began around 6 p.m., and many locals stopped for an appertivo or just walked between the two piazze.
Soon we asked two local gentlemen for a recommendation for dinner. They told us of a close-by restaurant, and 15 minutes later, returned with a card from the restaurant and detailed instructions of how to walk there. We were quite pleased with their choice of Il Desco Ristorante (via Vidacilio, 10).
The inside of the restaurant is all white, with vases of fresh herbs and roses on the tables. It was quite elegant, and has a charming stairway full of wines, but we chose to dine al fresco, as it was a balmy evening.
The owner was very charming, and verbally told us his menu for the evening. We chose some fresh tagliatelle with a meat ragu, then asked to share a small serving of meat. He brought us a perfect small slice of beef filet topped with spinach and served with roasted fennel and olives, drizzled with oil. It was all delicious!
We drank a bottle of local white wine (Passerina) which the owner gave us as a welcome to Ascoli. The total bill was 37 euro for two! Coffee and grappa in the piazza, and we were ready for bed. What a great first night in Italy!