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Ascoli Piceno and surroundings

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Ascoli Piceno

Ascoli Piceno is a town in the Marche region, capital of the homonymous province. The town lays between Tronto River and the Apennines at about 25 km far from the Adriatic Coast. The local economy is mainly based on agriculture, commerce and industry. Other important resources are those enterprises providing various services to the surrounding upland municipalities. The whole area was inhabited since the remote past. The town was originally a Picean area and in the III century B.C. it became a Roman centre. It was ravaged by many barbarian invasions including the Lombards. Afterwards it became part of the Duchy of Spoleto, and ultimately it was the Roman Catholic Church Bishops to gain influence and power inside the city even when Ascoli Piceno became a free commune. The main architectural and cultural attractions are the Palazzo dei Capitani del Popolo (Palace of the People's Captains) built in the 13th century, the superb Chiesa dei Santi Vincenzo ed Anastasio, the wonderful Fortezza Pia (fortress), the Palazzotto longobardo (Lombard Palace) in proto-Romanesque style, the grand Forte Malatesta (Malatesta fortress). Other important sites are the famous Torre degli Ercolani (Ercolani Tower), the characteristic square Piazza del Popolo, the magnificent Roman Amphitheatre, the old Ponte di Cecco (Cecco bridge) and the Chiesa di San Francesco in Gothic style. Other important cultural sites are the prestigious Galleria d’Arte contemporanea (Contemporary Art Gallery), the interesting Pinacoteca civica (Municipal Picture Gallery), the great Museo diocesano (Diocesan Museum), the Museo di Storia Naturale (Natural History Museum) and the impressive Museo archeologico statale (National Archeological Museum). Among the main folkloristic events there are the celebrations in honour of the patron saint Sant'Emidio and the annual Torneo cavalleresco della Quintana (Quintana Tournament).

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