Let’s continue our visit in the region which surrounds Ancona – provincia Marche. And not to forget one of the Italian most-loved hobbies – shopping !
The riches of the Ancona area are not limited to those created by human skill, but add to those that nature has prepared for the locals, for Ancona has been blessed with cliffs and hillocks, sea and green pastures, vine-covered hills and cold streams. Apart from all that, where else could you watch the sun rising from and setting into the sea? Due to the unique geometry of its relief, the spectacle of the sun getting born and then dying again every day, for ever accompanied by the sea, can be watched by locals and tourists, romantics and party-goers alike. Gourmet and sport lovers, the people of Ancona know how to use all the resources provided by nature in their various activities of daily life or big competitions. Cycling, swimming, jogging, windsurfing, rafting and – last but not least – paragliding from the sunny cliffs into the sea – here are but a few of the sports practiced in Ancona and the surrounding area.
One of the biggest competitions held by the local administration in partnership with the administration of the Marche region took place in Ancona this year, for five days. This extremely important port has always welcomed foreigners traveling on sea, various cultures and unique life styles. This experience has actually consolidated the humanity of Ancona. According to some statistics provided in 2001 by ‘Il Sole 24 Ore’ – one of the leading economic journals in Italy – and the environmental organization ‘Legambiente’, Ancona ranks high among the cities providing the best quality of life. It is not something that goes without saying – a city daily confronting naval traffic, loaded trucks and travelers coming or going by the sea should not necessarily be as hospitable, open and cheerful as Ancona. Perhaps these qualities were born in this area, or perhaps they were inherited from the ancestors. Anyway, one thing is certain: the vision of the Dorians who established this town, as well as that of the Romans who knew how to fully enjoy life, came true with regard to Ancona’s successful future. This port on the Adriatic Sea has become a place of trade, humanity, beauty and prosperous life.
Shopping & Leisure
The shopping area of the city includes Piazza Roma, Piazza Erbe, Piazza del Plebiscito, Corso Garibaldi, Corso Mazzini and Corso Stamira. Rows of shops provide a wide range of products for every taste and every price category. Boutiques with traditional delicacies and souvenirs stand next to shops selling shoes and bags, jewels and works of art, clothes and antique pieces. Shoppers should also note the places in Civitanova Marche, 40 kilometers away from Ancona, selling international brands with substantial discounts. Antiques lovers should also make some time to visit the antiques fair in Piazza Cavour, held on the last Sunday of every month.
They say no other region of Italy consumes as much meat as Marche, where the most popular appetizers are lonza (salty pork filets), smoked ham and ciauscolo (pork salami) – the most delicious delicacy. If you like fish, you should visit the restaurants on the seacoast and not leave before tasting the brodetto soup, made of 13 species of fish. Surrounded by sea and basking in the sun, Italy is the country of fish and seafood dishes, but also of high quality wine. As in any other city on the coast of the Adriatic, the cooks in Ancona use the creatures of the sea to prepare the finest dishes, based on local or foreign recipes. This is how a dish of Scandinavian origins has become a tradition in Ancona. The delicious stoccafisso is dried or salty pike meat – a typical dish for Scandinavian cuisine – dipped and boiled in Verdicchio – a local white wine. It is mostly served on Fridays in the ‘La Cantineta’, a place in 1 c Via Gramsci (closed on Sundays and Mondays). Another fish restaurant in the area is Enopolis, in No. 7 Corso Mazzini, combining high cuisine with an elegant atmosphere and serving excellent dishes to its customers, but also to their four-legged friends, who are welcomed in this building. The restaurant is closed on Tuesdays, but other than that, it works non-stop. Likewise, the Boccon Divino restaurant in No. 13 Via Giacomo Matteotti serves traditional fish and meat dishes, accompanied by season appetizers and home-made pasta, as well as high quality wines from the restaurant cellars – of both local and international fame.
The pride of the Marche region is its wide range of wines with names that have also become famous abroad. In the white wine category, Verdicchio is a greenish potion with a specific – slightly bitter – taste, an excellent companion for fish dishes and one of the most popular wines here. High quality wines also include DOC Verdicchio di Castelli di Jesi and Verdicchio di Matelica, or Bianchello del Metauro, Esino Bianco, Colli Maceratesi, Collo Pesaresi Bianco or Falerio, and they are all made in the Marche region. Red wine is represented by the elegance of the Montepulciano and Sangiovese grapes, reunited in the Rosso Piceno and Rosso Piceno Superiore brands. Apart from Rosso Conero and Vernaccia di Serrapetrona with their two variants – sweet and dry –, we should also note DOC Sangiovese dei Colli Pesaresi, Esino Rosso and the delicious Lacrima di Morro d’Alba.
No matter how much we enjoyed our staying in one place, no matter how relaxing our trip were and how many souvenirs we collected along the way, without the taste of traditional delicacies, without the flavor of grapes protected by Bacchus – especially here, on the Italian plains –and without getting to know the skills of local chefs, the experience of the trip would not be enjoyed to the fullest.
Sights of Ancona