Ancona - Il Ginocchio d'Italia
Ancona was like my second home town in Italy after Osimo. I was there almost everyday to meet friends from other towns, and to enjoy the bars and the view from the duomo (main cathedral). Most foreigners usually pass through Ancona only to board the ferries to Croatia, Greece, and Turkey. At first glance, the city looks like nothing special; but it's one of those places that you have to experience and take a closer look in order to appreciate it. The city was founded by the Greeks, who called it "Ankon" which means "elbow", due to the cape the city lies on. Many of the buildings in Ancona's winding streets are quite surprising, echoing the city's former glory. If you ever find yourself in Ancona, be sure and visit the beautiful Piazza del Papa (also known as Piazza del Plebiscito), take a walk up to the duomo and enjoy the view, visit the Ancient Roman arch on the port, and walk across town to the Monumento ai Caduti. Also, you MUST have a gelato and coffee at Cafe' Rosa right off of Piazza Roma.
Ancona, a door open on the Adriatic
Ancona is a main harbour of the Italian coast of the Adriatic. It is important for trade but also for travelers. Ancona and Bari, much southern, are the two ports of embarkment on the ferries to Greece and the whole eastern coast of the Adriatic for all visitors living in Western Europe. The traffic increased a great deal since 1990 : all travelers to Turkey, that mostly drove the Magistrale through ex-Yougoslavia to reach Salonique and the Bosphorus, sailed now on the ferries Ancona-Igoumenitsa. Thus Ancona is a busy city with a harbor that is squeezed between the sea and the hills that surround the bay. About 20 different companies sail from Ancona to Greece, Croatia, Montenegro, Albania and Turkey and 1.5 million passengers every year go through the port of 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 the province with the same name and the capital of the region.
The city is located 133 miles northeast of Rome and 127 miles southeast of Bologna .
The name Ancona means "elbow" (from Greek *ankon 'elbow'), referring to the shape of its geographical position.
I have often been to Ancona, either when taking a ferry to Greece or when landing from Greece but there was never any spare time to visit the city.
In 2005, as the weekly ferry sailed Saturday July 16th 2005 at 4PM to Bar (Montenegro), I had planned to do the journey between Grenoble and Ancona on 2 days, in order to arrive at 11AM in Ancona, pay a short visit to the old city and have dinner in some nice restaurant. But actually, since our morning departure from Piacenza, the traffic was very heavy. Several times, we were even completely still for a moment. Some drivers were very excited and surpassed the files on the right, on the emergency lane. Amazingly, they all had Swiss plates ! Swiss have a reputation of being orderly and respectful of the rules but as my family lives a few kilometers from the Swiss border, I knew pretty well that this is true IN Switzerland but much less OUT of Switzerland. Then, I thought, these Swiss abroad feel really ABROAD to take such liberties with the rules…
Finally, we arrived only at 2:30, had no time for dinner and went directly to check in at the Montenegro line offices (Morfimare), which took almost one hour as the queue in front of the office was hectic. We were ready to embark on board of the Sveti Stefan II at 3:30. Actually, not really ready : as the quay was very noisy with several engines roaring high, we had inadvertently left the AC of the car on and the car did not start any more…
We had no starting electric wires that would have allowed to plug on another car’s battery (actually, we discovered much later that we had one in a hidden box of the car, that we had never used and completely forgotten it was there). I started begging help from drivers of other cars. With those that spoke Italian, it was easy. Some understood only German or Albanian, fortunately my little knowledge of German was enough to make me understood. A Franco-Montenegrin helped me to ask to Serbian speaking drivers but nobody around had any starting electric wires. After a while an Albano-Swiss proposed with the help of several Montenegro-Germans and of our fellow Franco-Montenegrin to push the car until it would start. Fortunately it succeeded and I left the engine run until some one from the crew required me to drive into the ferry. It was 3:45 and sailing was scheduled for 4:00.
I felt that it was fine, given that the engine would not stall at the wrong moment : I had been warned by VT Karenincalifornia that on Sveti Stefan II, last boarders landed first and thus avoided a time consuming queue at the custom on arrival in Bar while first boarders landed the last. We were surprised to discover that though the ferry should have sailed 15 minutes later, there were very few other cars and that we were at the very bottom of the garage. At 4:00, it did not sail, neither at 5:00, nor at 6:00 and cars went on arriving and embarking. Amazingly, they were mostly holding Swiss plates. I wondered why so many Swisses had such an interest in Montenegro! Actually, the explanation was that the “Swisses” were Albanian (both from Albania and from southern Montenegro) working in Switzerland. They had all bought their tickets through the same agency, so when they were caught in the traffic jams, some phoned to the agency which phoned to the boat that they should wait before sailing ! We finally sailed at 7:30 instead of 4:00 but the hold of the boat was now full !
I understood why our Franco-Montenegrin friend, that took the ferry every year, had managed to arrive in Ancona the day before ! We will do the same next time.
On arrival in Bar, we wondered if the engine would start by itself. We did not really worry as, anyway, the crew needed to get us out of the ferry in any way ! However, we expected to have to drive reverse all the way from the hull to the stern entrance. Unexpectedly after a while, we suddenly saw the sunlight in front of us. There was also a front way out which allowed us to go out fast and avoid most of the queue. BTW, the engine DID start by itself !
ancient buildings at the plaza
at teh steps of St. Cyriacus Church
please help with the best way to transfer from the Ancona rail station to the
ferry port. Elderly couple with luggage
I think you would probably find the cost of a taxi from the station worthwhile.
There are bus services from the station but I believe these drop you off in Piazza della Reppublica rather than in the port itself. There will be taxis outside the railway station, and the port is not too far away (about 2.5km).
going to be arriving into Ancona port and wondering what the 2.5km trip should cost to the trainstation with a taxi??
Please help :+
I have no idea, I'm afraid....I do not generally use taxis. But I can't imagine a journey of 2.5km will be more than 15 euro or so.