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Ascoli Piceno Travel Guide

Valerie Schneider (Valerie)

Ascoli Piceno is a provincial capital in a pretty setting. Nestled at the foot of a few mountains which encompass two national parks, it has a picturesque valley location surrounded by hills, yet is just a short distance from the sea. Its medieval heart beats proudly and resonantly.

View of Ascoli Piceno from San Marco

View of Ascoli Piceno from San Marco

Ascoli is a town that retains grit and graffiti. It hasn't been gussied up to attract visitors. Nowhere to be found are shop-loads of tacky tourist kitsch that are ubiquitous in more well-known towns of this size. There are regional products, of course. But the shops are here to provide services and amusements for the inhabitants. This is a place that is – above all – lived in, and comfortably so. It is a place where the locals are still bemused by the presence of foreign travelers visiting their city.

That it contains dozens of pretty churches, some world-class artwork, stunning architecture – including more towers than San Gimignano – as well as fantastic dining and classy museums is a grand bonus. That it offers all this and is still largely unknown is astounding. And therein lies another bonus for the traveler willing to cross the central Appenines from Umbria or Tuscany to discover this corner of Marche - uncrowded splendor in a dynamic city, with citizens proud of their heritage who make the entire centro storico their playground and living room.


Highlights Around Town: Sights of Ascoli Piceno, piazzas, historic buildings, walks.

Museums and Churches: The museums and churches.

Wining and Dining: Recommended restaurants, caffes, bars.

Practical Information: Parking, shops hours, shopping, internet access, resources.

Photos of Ascoli Piceno: Larger versions of the photos in this section.

Valerie Schneider (Valerie) is a freelance writer, who lived in New Mexico for twenty years before trading the high desert for the medieval hill towns of Italy in May, 2006. She is a regular contributor to Slow Travel, pens travel agency newsletters, and has written for Arthur Frommer's Budget Travel. She and her husband, Bryan, currently reside in Ascoli Piceno where they conduct small-group tours called Panorama Italy. Read about her Italian adventures in her monthly Slow Travel column, Living Slow in Italy, and on her blog, 2 Baci in a Pinon Tree. See Valerie's Slow Travel Member page.

© Valerie Schneider, 2007

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