14 December 2008

Ancona, Marche

Ancona is the capital of the Marche Region where we live and we recently made the hour drive along the Autostrada A14 to see what the city had to offer. Ancona is a major Adriatic port and has been so for more than two millennium, this was also a major debarking point for forces during the crusades. Ancona is an industrial port city rebuilt after heavy bombing damage during World War II with some unique finds amongst the drab.

We drove down along the port, where the centro is located as I had picked a few select locations I wanted to see in that area, primarily Arco di Traiano. The port is a busy industrial area where not only do cruise and ferry ships dock but there is also a shipyard building these same vessels. Ancona is one of the port-of-calls for some cruises in the Adriatic. Amongst this industrial mix is the Arco di Traiano which now looks rather small compared to the towering cranes of a busy modern port.

Situated above the port is the Duomo San Ciriaco, which provides good views of the port and Adriatic to the east. If you like to watch the ships come and go this is a great vantage point. The duomo is an interesting medieval church with stone lions standing guard at the door and a simple but elegant interior. From this location, the highest in the city, you also have a view of some Roman era ruins to the north that currently are not accessible.

The other object of our visit to Ancona was food…ethnic food. I had found an Indian restaurant on a website located near the port and we had a hankering for some non-Italian. The food was okay but not like some of the Indian restaurants we have tried in Roma. For an international port city I was surprised with the difficulty finding ethnic eateries in this city.

We also wandered a few streets finding a few interesting buildings here and there but on whole our visit to Ancona was uneventful and not a location I would make a specific destination.

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