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Ancona travel guide — Ancona tourism and travel information

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about Ancona

Ancona is a city and a seaport in the Marche, a region of northeastern Italy, population 100,507 (2001). Ancona is situated on the Adriatic Sea and is the center of an eponymous province.

The city is located 132 miles northeast of Rome and 127 miles southeast of Bologna.

The town is finely situated on and between the slopes of the two extremities of the promontory of Monte Conero, Monte Astagno, occupied by the citadel, and Monte Guasco, on which the Duomo stands (300 feet). The latter, dedicated to St. Cyriacus (S. Ciriaco), is said to occupy the site of a temple of Venus, who is mentioned by Catullus and Juvenal as the tutelary deity of the place.

Ancona history

The ancient town was founded by refugees from Syracuse about 390 BC, who gave it its name: Ancona is a very slightly modified transliteration of the Greek Αγκων, meaning "elbow"; the harbor to the east of the town was originally protected only by the promontory on the north, shaped like an elbow. Greek merchants established a purple factory here (Sil. Ital. viii. 438). In Roman times it kept its own coinage with the punning device of the bent arm holding a palm branch, and the head of Aphrodite on the reverse, and continued the use of the Greek language.

When it became a Roman colony is doubtful. It was occupied as a naval station in the Illyrian war of 178 B.C. (Liv. xli. i). Julius Caesar took possession of it immediately after crossing the Rubicon. Its harbour was of considerable importance in imperial times, as the nearest to Dalmatia, and was enlarged by Trajan, who constructed the north quay, his architect being Apollodorus of Damascus. At the beginning of it stands the marble triumphal arch with a single archway, and without bas-reliefs, erected in his honour in A.D. 115 by the senate and people.

Pope Clement XII prolonged the quay, and an inferior imitation of Trajan's arch was set up; he also erected a lazaretto at the south end of the harbour, Vanvitelli being the architect-in-chief. The southern quay was built in 1880, and the harbour was protected by forts on the heights.

After the fall of the Roman empire Ancona was successively attacked by the Goths, Lombards and Saracens, but recovered its strength and importance. It was one of the cities of the Pentapolis under the exarchate of Ravenna, the other four being Fano, Pesaro, Senigallia and Rimini, and eventually became a semi-independent republic under the protection of the popes, until Gonzaga took possession of it for Pope Clement VII in 1532.

From 1797 onwards, when the French took it, it frequently appears in history as an important fortress, until Lamoricière capitulated here on the 29th of September 1860, eleven days after his defeat at Castelfidardo.

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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Ancona".

This city is also known as: Ancona.

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