Ascoli Piceno (Italian: [ˈaskoli piˈtʃɛːno] ; Ascolano [it]: Ascule; Latin: Asculum)[3] is a comune (municipality) and capital of the province of Ascoli Piceno, in the Marche region of Italy.

Città di Ascoli Piceno
Piazza del Popolo
Piazza del Popolo
Flag of Città di Ascoli Piceno
Coat of arms of Città di Ascoli Piceno
Location of
Città di Ascoli Piceno is located in Italy
Città di Ascoli Piceno
Città di Ascoli Piceno
Location of in Italy
Città di Ascoli Piceno is located in Marche
Città di Ascoli Piceno
Città di Ascoli Piceno
Città di Ascoli Piceno (Marche)
Coordinates: 42°51′N 13°35′E / 42.850°N 13.583°E / 42.850; 13.583
ProvinceAscoli Piceno (AP)
Frazionisee list
 • Total160 km2 (60 sq mi)
154 m (505 ft)
 (30 November 2022)[2]
 • Total45,630
 • Density290/km2 (740/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+2 (CEST)
Patron saintSt. Emygdius
Saint day5 August
WebsiteOfficial website

Geography Edit

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.

History Edit

Ausculum of ancient Picenum[4] was founded by the Italic (Piceni) and was originally a Sabine city.[5]

Following its defeat by the Romans in 268 BC,[6] Asculum became a civitas foederata, a "federated" city with nominal independence from Rome. It was later connected by the important Via Salaria, the salt road that connected Latium with the salt production areas on the Adriatic coast.

It was the first Italian city to rise up against Rome in 90 BC during the Social War. An account described the city as home to a war-like people that bore generation-old grudge against Rome for encroaching on its northern territories.[7] It was besieged and captured following the Battle of Asculum (89 BC).[8] Discovered artifacts in the city such as sling bullets show that the siege included at least four Roman legions as well as Gallic and Spanish auxiliaries.[9] Following the war, it became a municipium. In the triumviral period or under Augustus, it became a colonia.

During the Middle Ages Ascoli was ravaged by the Ostrogoths and then by the Lombards of King Faroald (578). After nearly two centuries as part of the Lombard Duchy of Spoleto (593–789), Ascoli was ruled by the Franks through their vicars, but ultimately it was the bishops that gained influence and power over the city.

In 1189 a free republican municipality was established but internal strife led dramatically to the demise of civic values and freedom and to unfortunate ventures against neighboring enemies. This unstable situation opened the way to foreign dictatorships, like those of Galeotto I Malatesta (14th century), initially recruited as a mercenary (condottiero) in the war against Fermo, and Francesco Sforza. Sforza was ousted in 1482, but Ascoli was again compelled to submit to the Papal suzerainty. In 1860 it was annexed, together with Marche and Umbria, into the newly unified Kingdom of Italy.

Main sights Edit

Roman Theatre
Roman ponte di Cecco
Roman Ponte di Solestà

Many of the buildings in the historical part of the city are built using local travertino. Near the Renaissance square Piazza del Popolo, the Piazza Arringo was the administrative and religious centre of the town, surrounded by the Cathedral, the baptistery, the Bishop's residence, and the Palace of the Commune.

According to traditional accounts, Ascoli Piceno housed some two hundred towers in the Middle Ages: today some fifty can still be seen.

Churches and convents Edit

church of San Francesco

Secular buildings Edit

Porta Gemina
Porta Tufilla.
  • The Roman Ponte del Gran Caso
  • Roman Solestà Bridge
  • Ponte di Cecco; Roman bridge over the Castellano
  • The Roman walls of the "Fortezza Pia" in the upper part of the town
  • "Vesta's" temple: devoted to the cult of Isis
  • Roman temple rebuilt as an auditorium
  • The Palazzo dei Capitani del Popolo ("Palace of the People's Captains"). Built in the 13th century connecting three pre-existing edifices, it was the seat of the podestà, the people's captains and, later, of the Papal governors. In the 15th century the southern side was enlarged, and, in 1520, a Mannerist façade was added in the rear side. In 1535 it underwent a general renovation, and in 1549 a new portal, with a monument of Pope Paul III, was added.
  • Palazzo dell'Arengo, located near the Cathedral
  • Palazzo Malaspina: Palace in Corso Mezzini, previous 14th-century structure reconstructed in the 16th century using designs attributed to architect Cola dell'Amatrice.
  • Porta Gemina ("Twin Gate"): an ancient Roman gate from the 1st century BC, through which the Via Salaria entered the city. The ruins of the ancient theater are located nearby. It had two passageways, each 5.70 metres (18.7 ft) tall and 2.95 metres (9.7 ft) wide
  • Porta Tufilla, a tower-like gate built in 1552–55. It is annexed to the Ponte Tufillo, a medieval bridge built in 1097 over the River Tronto.
  • Ponte Maggiore ("Great Bridge"), of medieval origin
  • Lombard Palace and the Ercolani Tower (11th-12th centuries)
  • Loggia dei Mercanti: a 16th-century portico annexed to the church of San Francesco. It was commissioned by the city's wool traders guild and finished in 1513.
  • Fortezza Pia, a fortress commanding the city rebuilt in 1560 by Pope Pius IV (whence the name).
  • Malatesta Fortress, in a site probably occupied by Roman baths. It was rebuilt by Galeotto I Malatesta, lord of Rimini, during the war against Fermo. The construction, used as a jail until 1978, was enlarged by Antonio da Sangallo the Younger in 1543.
  • Grotte dell'Annunziata ("Grottoes of the Annunciation"), a large portico with niches from the 2nd-1st centuries BC, whose original function is unknown (it has been suggested that they could be barracks or slaves dwellings, or a fortified palace[10])

In Castel Trosino, not far from the city, in 1893 a rare 6th-century Lombard necropolis was found.

Parks and gardens Edit

Economy Edit

Recent industrialization has brought to Ascoli several Italian and multinational companies (YKK, Manuli, Pfizer, Barilla) but the bulk of the economy is made up of small and medium-sized enterprises and by those providing professional services to the area. Agriculture is still important (wheat, olives, fruits).

Transport Edit

Ascoli Piceno railway station, opened in 1886, is the southwestern terminus of the San Benedetto del Tronto–Ascoli Piceno railway, a branch of the Adriatic railway.

Education Edit

The city is the administrative headquarters and teaching the School of Architecture and Design at the University of Camerino and the International School on Safety and Environmental Protection private university's Alma Mater Europaea.

Culture and sport Edit

The main festivity is on the first Sunday in August. The historical parade with more than 1500 people dressed in Renaissance costume is held in celebration of Saint Emidio, protector of the city. The parade is followed by a tournament, called Quintana, in which six knights, each competing for one of the six neighborhoods in the city, ride the course one after the other trying to hit an effigy of an Arab warrior. Strength and ability are necessary for the knight to win the palio or grand prize.

The Castellano river is a site for swimming and bathing in summer.

Founded in 1898, Ascoli Calcio is the main football team in the city. It is one of the oldest teams in Italy and it played for 16 years in Serie A.

Gastronomy Edit

Olive all'ascolana is a dish which originated from this locality. It is prepared from olives.[11]

Territorial subdivision Edit

Bivio Giustimana, Campolungo-villa sant'Antonio, Caprignano, Carpineto, Casa circondariale, Casalena, Casamurana, Case di Cioccio, Casette, Castel di Lama stazione, Castel Trosino, Cervara, Colle, Colle san Marco, Colloto, Colonna, Colonnata, Faiano, Funti, Giustimana, Il Palazzo, Lago, Lisciano, Lisciano di Colloto, Montadamo, Morignano, Mozzano, Oleificio Panichi, Palombare, Pedana, Piagge, Pianaccerro, Poggio di Bretta, Polesio, Ponte Pedana, Porchiano, Rosara, San Pietro, Santa Maria a Corte, Talvacchia, Taverna di mezzo, Trivigliano-villa Pagani, Tronzano, Valle Fiorana, Valle Senzana, Valli, Vena piccola, Venagrande, Villa S. Antonio.

Government Edit

Notable people Edit

International relations Edit

Ascoli Piceno is twinned with:[12][13]

See also Edit

References Edit

  1. ^ "Superficie di Comuni Province e Regioni italiane al 9 ottobre 2011". Italian National Institute of Statistics. Retrieved 16 March 2019.
  2. ^ Population data from Istat
  3. ^ Richard J.A. Talbert, ed. (2000). Barrington Atlas of the Greek and Roman World: Map-By-Map Directory. Vol. I. Princeton, NJ and Oxford, UK: Princeton University Press. p. 607. ISBN 0691049459.
  4. ^ Harris, W.; DARMC; R. Talbert; S. Gillies; G. Rees; J. Becker; T. Elliott. "Places: 413036 (Asculum)". Pleiades. Retrieved November 1, 2014.
  5. ^ Festus 235.16-17
  6. ^ Eutr. 2,16
  7. ^ Matyszak, Philip (2014). Cataclysm 90 BC: The Forgotten War That Almost Destroyed Rome. South Yorkshire, UK: Pen and Sword. p. 89. ISBN 9781848847897.
  8. ^ Velleius Paterculus 2.21.1.
  9. ^ Dart, Christopher J. (2016-02-24). The Social War, 91 to 88 BCE: A History of the Italian Insurgency against the Roman Republic. Routledge. ISBN 9781317015482.
  10. ^ Carducci, Giambattista (1853). Su le memorie e i monumenti di Ascoli nel Piceno. Fermo: Arnaldo Forni Editore. pp. 206–209.
  11. ^ St. Onge, Danette (17 August 2019). "Stuffed and Fried Ascolana Olives (Olive all'ascolana)". The Spruce Eats. Retrieved 13 May 2021.
  12. ^ "Città gemellate". (in Italian). Ascoli Piceno. Retrieved 2019-12-18.
  13. ^ "Partnerské mestá". (in Slovak). Banská Bystrica. Retrieved 2019-12-18.

External links Edit