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Ascoli Piceno travel guide — Ascoli Piceno tourism and travel information

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about Ascoli Piceno

Ascoli Piceno is a town in Marche region, Italy, capital to the same-named province. Geographical location 42° 52' North, 13° 35' East. Its population, according to the 2001 census, is 50.135 inhabitants. The town lays at the confluence of Tronto River with Castellano Creek and is surrounded on three sides by mountains. Two natural parks are located on the north-western flank (Parco Nazionale dei Monti Sibillini) and on the south (Parco Nazionale dei Monti della Laga). Ascoli is well connected by railway to the Adriatic coast and the city of San Benedetto del Tronto and by highway to Rome| and Porto d'Ascoli.

The recent industrialization brought to Ascoli several Italian and multinational companies (YKK, Manuli, Pharmacia) but the bulk of the economy is small and medium enterprises and the providing of professional services to the area. The agriculture is still important (wheat, olives, fruits).

Ascoli was founded by an Italic population (Sabini) several centuries before Rome on the important Via Salaria (Salaria Road) which connected Latium with the salt production area on the Adriatic coast. In 268 BC it became a civitas foederata, with nominal Independence from Rome. In 91 BC it revolted against Rome together with other cities in central Italy but in 89 BC was conquered and destroyed by Strabone. It acquired anyway the Roman citizenship, following the developments and the eventual fall of the Roman Empire. During the Middle Ages it was conquered by the Lombards in 578, then by the Franks in 789, but ultimately it was the Catholic Church Bishops to gain influence and power inside the city. In 1189 a free republican municipality was established but internal strifes led dramatically to the demise of civic values and freedom, until ambitious lord took over the reins of the city. After two centuries of disorder, the authority of the Pope was reestabilshed in late XVI century. Ascoli followed then almost two centuries of cultural, economic stagnation, turning into a small agricultural centre until the Napoleonic wars. In 1860 it was annexed together with Marche and Umbria in the Kingdom of Italy

The central historical part of the city is built in marmor called travertino, a grey hued stoned extracted from the surrounding mountains. Its central Renaissance square, Piazza del Popolo or People's square is considered one of the most beautiful in Italy. The cathedral of Sant'Emidio, the Roman Bridge and the Longbards Tower are some of several historic relics of particular interest.

The main festivity is in the first Sunday in August. The historical parade with more than 900 people dressed in Renaissance costums 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 one competing for one of the six neighborhoods in the city, run in turn a course and try to hit a puppet figuring an Arab warrior. Strength and ability are necessary for the knight to win the palio or the grand prize.

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

This city is also known as: Ascoli Piceno.

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