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Wool. In Australia we know about wool. For many years there was a saying "Australia rides on the sheep's back". It was worth millions to our economy but, of course, the sheep came from overseas and, co-incidentally, these days the most expensive bales are bought by Italians.
The Loggia dei Mercanti pictured here represents the commercial side of the city of centuries ago. It was erected around 1500 and financed by the rich Wool Guild. The portico has elegant, slim features which are more evident because it is adjacent the Church of San Francesco. The front part has 27 arches placed on Corinthian columns.
Updated Nov 6, 2012
I want to advise every ones to come in ASCOLI PICENO this fantastic medieval town. it's composed in 2 parts . a lower and an higher part.the lower part is modern , with a big and very efficient hospital , lot of services ,office , police stations etc . The higher part is the older one : churches (form 1200 dc to 1760 dc) old places , museum , restaurants and pub in medieval style!
Absolutely fantastic is a pub in a wonderful place with a castle with clock and medieval walls. this pub/bar is called MELETTI. Absolutely to taste a special coffee called NISETTA with a kind of brandy really delicious (It costs about 5 euros).
Updated Jan 15, 2012
Address: Ascoli Piceno
The Gothic-style church of St. Francis (begun in 1258). The dome was completed in 1549. In the side portal is the monument to Pope Julius II, while the central portal is one of the finest examples of local travertine decoration. Annexed to the church is the 16th century was the Loggia dei Mercanti, in Bramantesque style.
From my email at the time:
" AVE MARIA
That's what the banner said. So we deemed it time to visit yet another church, the Chiesa di San Francesco. I reflected on how many churches I had been in during my life and still I remain unconverted.
There was a service on, the communion so Rosemarie informed me, though I thought that's what the men did on the side of the streets and in the bars.
We sat up the back to soak up the atmosphere, as we do, and I couldn't help but notice that one of the bright stained glass windows featured the holocaust. Fairly obviously it had been damaged during the war, hence the new windows.
The lady then came around with the offerings basket so I immediately buried my head in my notes while she passed, no doubt feeling rebuffed. I also noted on one side wall a red light. Heck, the last time I'd seen one of those was in Amsterdam but I feel confident that similar services were not on offer here.
Indeed, it appeared to be over a confessional box and Rosemarie said people in long frocks inhabited the place so I thought perhaps I might chance my arm and check it out with a "speak Englese" but Rosemarie counselled against this. Perhaps I could have bought an absolution but it seemed that there were none on offer.
Then Rosemarie said it was time to leave and I blasphemed as I tried to get my camera lens back on again. I guess there will be no place in heaven for me."
It is worth a look into this church for the stained glass alone. Fairly obviously less than 50 years old the colour is brilliant still.
Updated Dec 22, 2009
Address: Palazzo del Popolo
You'll see the odd tower or two around the town but, in a way, it's all a bit sad.
The reasons are manifold. There are a reported 50 still there from an original number around 200. However, you'll see a lot less than that as many are only ruins or bits of other buildings.
Also, a pair of the more prominent towers is not as old as the rest.
A third reason is that the public can't access any of them, all you can do is look.
Written Dec 22, 2009
The Convent of Sant Agostino has a chequered history, and not all of that has been recorded. These days it isn't a monastery but is used for artistic purposes. Civica Galleria d'Arte Contemporanea is its official title.
Personally, the thing I found of great interest is the fact that it also houses a library of over 200,000 volumes, one of the most interesting of which is a Benedictine manuscript dating back to the X - XIII centuries.
The library is appropriately named after Giulio Gabrielli (1832 - 1910), an archaeologist, painter and director of the town library from 1861 to 1899.
Much of the building dates from the 19th century.
Written Dec 22, 2009
They are in the Piazza Arringo and, sooner or later the Le Fontane Di Piazza Arringo or the the Twin Fountains of Piazza Arringo will catch your eye. Situated in front of the Information Center in the Palazzo dell'Arengo. The second identical Fountain is located closer to the Cathedral.
Inaugurated in 1884 they were placed next to the new monument to King Victor Emmanuel II. However, if you're looking for that monument these days, it's been moved to the public gardens. These fountains are Renaissance in architectural terms with elaborate dragons and seahorses.
The Fountain is a bit of eye candy with its huge twin seahorses, large fountain with squirting mouths on each side and an elaborate fish at the top.
Should you be wandering around there at night they take on a new face entirely with imaginative lighting giving one a different perspective on the water works.
Written Dec 22, 2009
As we sat in the Piazza del Popolo in the Caffe Melleni that is one of Italy's 150 listed historic cafes we gazed over to the Palazzo dei Capitani, built by the Lombards in 1549. The central seated figure of Paul III Farnese was sculpted by Simone Cioli in 1544 while the adjacent clock, by Giovanni di Martino da Fossato, was done in 1543.
At the opposite end of the piazza is the Chiesa di San Francesco that precedes the palazzo by 30 years.
Directly across from us I count a row of 27 Corinthian style columns that support a cloister behind which shops lurk.
It's a balmy autumn day as sip our lattes and rejoice in the fact of how privileged we are to be here:
Written Oct 27, 2009
Ascoli Piceno is a city with 12th century charm and 21st century amminities. Walk down narrow streets with quaint shops and enter one of the many piazzas. Probably the most popular is Piazza del Popolo, or, "The People's Square". It is the center of the community hosting a number of festivals and activities. Purchase locally-made ceramics, eat the ice cream, talk with the locals, try the delicious deep-fried olives stuffed with meats, practice your Italian and drink the local wine. One of the most plentiful is the Rosso Piceno, a delightful red wine that is very pleasing to the palate. For a quick coffee, pastry, or tasty sandwich, go to Caffe Oscar. Meet Oscar, a young man married to his work. Though he has a family (see pictures of his baby behind the counter) Oscar works long hours.
Written Aug 24, 2007
The Piazza Arringo was named for the public assemblies (Arengo) which have always been located here since Ascoli Piceno was founded as a free city-state. Today it serves as the civil and religious center of the town. This is true because of the Cathedral of S. Emidio, seat of the Diocese; the Arengo Palace, the seat of the Town Hall.
Also of importance in Piazza Arringo is the Cathedral and Baptistry of S. Giovanni, the merchants' Halls in Arengo Palace, the Municipal Art Gallery, the Library, the Diocesan Museum, and the Archeological Museum at Panichi Palace.
This Piazza was one of our first impressions of Ascoli Piceno because we went immediately to the Tourist Center, which is located here. I was much impressed. It contains the Baptistery, Cathedral, Bishop's Palace, Panichi Palace, Town Hall, Fonzi Palace.
Arringo has witnessed important political, religious, and socail events of the city.
One: Fountain and Arengo Palace
Two: Cathedral of S. Emidio with Bell Tower
Three: Baptistry of S. Giovanni
Four: Allan admiring the embellished Fountain in the center of Piazza
Five: Arengo Palace..information center location
Piazza Arringo is perfectly rectangular, and I really enjoyed the Fountain made by Jecini with its elliptic basins and sculptures of seahorses by Giorgio Paci. It was built between 1820-1914.
Updated Nov 1, 2006
One of the most beautiful town squares, I feel, is Piazza Del Popolo (People's Square).
During the first half of the 1500's, Piazza del Popolo became a rectangular shape as it is today when the columned porticoes were added. These porticoes kept the "disorderly artisans/ workshops hidden from view". The Piazza is paved in Travertine.
The buildings found in this square are representative of the 3 powers within the city:
The Palazzo dei Capitani represents the political faction.
The Church of San Francis represents the powerful church faction In 1225 Ascoli was visited by Saint Francis who preached peace & set up the 1st convent in Ascoli. This church has its back on the square, but the apse & transepts are really the best part of the building. It has Gothic features, & over the south door is a statue of Pope Julius II. Open daily 9:30-12:30 & 4-7:30
(Please excuse the blurred photo of church. It is the only close-up I have.)
The Loggia dei Mercanti represents the commercial side of the city. It was erected in 1500 & paid for by the rich Wool Guild. This portico has elegant, slim features which are more evident because it is against the Church of San Francesco. The front part has 5 arches placed on Corinthian columns..
During the day, the square is filled with families. We saw darling children playing; mothers pushing carriages; whole families enjoying the sunshine. At night, we saw older children, lovers, lots of young men, & some families.
Piazza Del Popolo is breathtaking in the sunlight as well as it is at night with the moonlight & the artificial lights.
Photo 1 is the famous Captains' Palace
Photo 2 is the columned porticoes that added unity to the piazza
Photo 3 is Church of S. Francesco at night
Photo 4 is the mingling of locals during the morning in Piazza Del Popolo
Photo 5 is people outside the Captains' Palace in the afternoon
Updated Nov 1, 2006
1 Review and 28 Opinions The Gioli Hotel in Ascoli Piceno is a stone's throw away from the historic city sights like Piazza...