Ascoli Piceno is a town and comune in the Marche region of Italy, capital of the province of the same name. The town lies at the confluence of the Tronto River and the small river Castellano and is surrounded on three sides by mountains. Two natural parks border the town, one on the northwestern flank (Parco Nazionale dei Monti Sibillini) and the other on the southern (Parco Nazionale dei Monti della Laga).
Ascoli has good rail connections to the Adriatic coast and the city of San Benedetto del Tronto, by highway to Porto d'Ascoli and by the Italian National Road 4 Salaria to Rome.
The central historical part of the city is built in marble called travertino, a grey-hued stone extracted from the surrounding mountains. Its central Renaissance square, Piazza del Popolo ("Square of the People") is considered one of the most beautiful in Italy. According to traditional accounts, Ascoli Piceno was home to more than two hundred towers in the Middle Ages: today some fifty can still be seen.
Churches and Convents:
- The Cathedral of Sant'Emidio, dedicated to Saint Emygdius
- Tempietto di Sant'Emidio alle Grotte
- Tempietto di Sant'Emidio Rosso
- The Gothic-style church of San Francesco (begun in 1258).
- The Romanesque San Vittore (documented from 996) with a low bell tower.
- St. Augustinus (14th century). Built with a single nave, was enlarged with two aisles in the late 15th century.
- The convent of San Domenico, now a school, has a Renaissance cloister with 17th century frescoes.
- St. Peter Martyr (13th century), with a 1523 side portal by Nicola Filotesio, known locally as Cola d'Amatrice.
- San Tommaso (1069), housing numerous art works.
- The Franciscan convent, of which two noteworthy cloisters remain today.
- The Palazzo dei Capitani del Popolo ("Palace of the People's Captains").
- Palazzo dell'Arengo, located near the Cathedral
- Roman Solestà Bridge.
- The Porta Gemina ("Twin Gate"), an ancient Roman gate from the 1st century BC.
- Porta Tufilla, a tower-like gate built in 1552-1555.
- Ponte di Cecco (Cecco Bridge), over the Castellano.
- Ponte Maggiore ("Great Bridge"), of medieval origin
- Lombard Palace and the Ercolani Tower (11th-12th centuries)
- The Loggia dei Mercanti, a 16th century portico annexed to the church of St. Francis.
- Fortezza Pia, a fortress.
- Malatesta Fortress.
- Edicola (monumental niche, once housing a Madonna image)
- Grotte dell'Annunziata ("Grottoes of the Annunciation"), a large portico with niches from the 2nd-1st centuries BC.
Parks and Gardens:
- Giardino Botanico, Istituto Tecnico Agrario Statale "Celso Ulpiani", a botanical garden.