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Ascoli Piceno - Museums and Churches
Valerie Schneider (Valerie)
Purchasing a ticket for one museum garners you half-price admission on the others.
Admission: 5 Euro
Admission: 2 Euro
Diocesan Museums (Museo Diocesano)
Open 9:30am - 1:00pm; Saturdays 9:30am - 1:00pm and 3:30pm - 7:00pm.
Next to the Cartiere Papale is a restaurant and from here, a trail along the river leading you to little waterfalls and cool, quiet spots. It's a great place to escape the heat if you visit in the summer, or if you just want a nature walk.
The city seems awash in churches, and boasts no less than sixteen that were done up in Romanesque style. There is also an impressive cathedral and a monumental Franciscan church that will make you gape.
Duomo – The Cathedral of Sant'Emidio
Dedicated to the city's patron saint, the Duomo's foundation rests atop a Roman forum. First constructed in the 4th century, it has been expanded and enhanced throughout the centuries, most significantly during the late 1400s. The original cupola mimics the upper octagonal portion of the next-door Baptistry. The impressive interior is resplendent with lofty, vaulted ceilings from which hang elegant chandeliers. The vaults contain vibrant frescoes. Scalloped bays line the side aisles, and the columns are each topped with differently-carved capitals. On the right is the chapel containing a famous polyptych (still in its original frame) by Venetian painter, Carlo Crivelli. Unfortunately, Napoleon's troops made off with the gemstones that had originally been embedded into the painting.
In the spacious crypt you will find a forest of columns, Roman ruins and a memorial to the saint for which the church is named.
The unique, detached structure built in the 4th century almost appears to be a tempietto. A solid, square base cradles an octagonal, columned crown. It is rarely open, so if you see the door ajar, run, don't walk, to view the simple interior which preserves the ancient central baptismal pool, and a more recent free-standing font.
Constructed in phases beginning in 1258, the enormous structure forms the northern boundary of Piazza del Popolo, but its main and elaborate Gothic entrance fronts via del Trivio. Elegantly carved travertine alternately looks delicately lace-like and solid, with roaring lions and towering columns, of which no two are alike. Inside, the modern stain-glass windows tell tales and filter the light in the vast, austere interior.
The sacristy holds several important paintings. The newly reopened cloister has been recently renovated to its original, simple splendor.
Loggia dei Mercanti
The stately, vaulted loggia attached to the south side of San Francesco was built by the powerful wool merchants' guild. It is a favorite gathering spot for the citizens, and also hosts a daily flower market.
Other Noteworthy Churches
© Valerie Schneider, 2007
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