Ancona Falconara Airport, very convenient
Ancona’s Falconara is an excellent airport with very convenient access to SS76, the two lane road leading westward to Fabriano (in region Marche), to region Umbria (towns of Perugia, Foligno, and Assisi etc.) and further on to Rome. It is small, so don’t expect an infrastructure like they are at bigger airports like the ones of Milano, Roma, Bologna, Napoli. But it has all one needs: a restaurant which serves snacks, coffee and soft drinks, a pharmacy, a small gift shop with rather reasonable prices, bus and taxi stands outside and moreover, the train station is just across the street, approx. 100 m to walk.
Lufthansa (Air Dolomiti) flies to Falconara from Munich and from what I can see infamous Ryanair also flies here from Stansted, Düsseldorf (Germany) and Alghero (Italy, Sardegna).
Falconara has several car rentals in the arrival building (the western one, while the eastern one is the departure building): Sixt, Hertz, Avis, Europcar and several local Italian ones.
Falconara’s train station is called Castelferretti, not Ancona, and it is an approx. 1,5 hour train ride to and from Fossato di Vico (which is situated north of Assisi).
Thanks to VTer Corra (@Xaver) for telling me which bus to take from Ancona Airport to Ancona Train Station. It is Conero Bus
Despite the airport's small size, everything one would need is inside. There is a nice little caffè bar in the departure terminal (before security), two little shops, newspapers are available. After security is a duty free shop and two caffè bars. The prices are also very reasonable! Not at all comparable with the rip-off prices in my own home airport Frankfurt. Prices in Ancona after security are for example: 1 Euro for a 500 ml water bottle, 0,50 Euro for small croissants and 1,30 Euro for a Latte macchiato! (prices of August 2012).
Location of Falconara Airport on Google Maps.
© Ingrid D., March 2012.Related to:
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(Driving) petrol stations and other "risks"
The first part isn’t necessarily related to Marche region only, but important for Italy in general: make sure you know how to operate petrol machines in case you have rented a car. Simply because the petrol stations are not manned all the time and you might run into troubles when you have early flights and must return the rental car with a full tank.
I learned this the hard way. Some of my flights from Ancona Airport back to Germany are early flights, at 7:00, so I must make sure to be at the airport at 6:00, latest. None of the petrol stations are open that early, not even the ones off the main highway. So the only way to fill the tank is to operate the machine. Although these machines are with menus in English and German, I always failed to operate them, and there was no one I could ask for help. Consequently I had to pay the price for a not full tank.
So lesson 1: learn how to operate these machines during your time in Italy so that you don’t need to ask anymore on your way back to the airport. And .. lesson 2: in addition to have an idea about the average consumption of the rental car and the relation between fuel indicator and litres, have enough small banknotes with you to make sure you won’t waste too much money. This is a lesson I also had to learn the hard way: I only had a 20 Euro banknote and my final tank fills at the station before the airport was 12 Euro.
On SS72, the road connecting Ancona’s Aiport with middle Italy, is one station which I like very much. Not only does it have a really good snack station, very easy to find because the building is slightly futuristic, but it also is a perfect viewpoint for the charming hilltop village of Castelbellino. It is located between the exits no. 15 and 16, between Moie and Jesi west (ovest):
Location of the petrol station, snack bar and a view on Google Maps.
The last petrol station before the airport is => here, 11 km before reaching the airport.
One word of warning for drivers coming from the east and drive on SS76 westwards: there is one very dangerous tunnel located just after (west) the exit to Borgo Tuffico (see screenshots 2 and 3): directly after exiting the tunnel the roads (westward and eastward) split up. There is a big arrow sign with blinking lights to the right though and I never failed to follow the proper road though. But when Sarah and I drove to Ancona Airport to pick up Marit last year (i.e. driving eastward), we saw a driver driving westward who obviously messed up the sign and started to enter our road. I don’t know if this wrong-way driver found a safe spot and turn without causing severe accidents eventually. But it looked very scary!
Mental note for Sarah and I: when I pick you up at Ancona, Sarah, we should remember to take a photo of this sign.
© Ingrid D., January 2013 (So please do not copy my text or photos without my permission.)Related to:
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Flying to Ancona
On my most recent visit to Marche I flew with Lufthansa from London Heathrow via Munich. Although, to say "with Lufthansa" is not entirely accurate, as the second leg, Munich to Ancona, is operated by their partner Air Dolomiti, in a small twin prop plane. You will think yourself in Italy already perhaps when you arrive near your departure gate in Munich and drink a caffe doppio while you wait to board.
A snack of biscuits and drink was served on board as we flew over the Alps and out to sea near Venice (unfortunately not visible on this occasion however). The flight to Ancona is only a little over an hour, and when I arrived Ingrid was there to meet me. My second holiday exploring the Marche region could begin!
A car is the best to move around in Marche
Almost always when I travel through middle Italy (Marche and Umbria) I rent a car at the airport where I arrive. But then I love to drive through any possible backstreet and visit the smaller magnificent towns because I know that I *will* find something exciting. For this kind of travel, a car is indeed the best option because it allows the highest degree of freedom to come and go as one likes. Especially in Marche I highly recommend to travel by car because the landscape is very lovely and is food enough for the soul of everyone who seeks to relax and unwind. Driving in Marche is a very much relaxed affair. Except for the strade statale (the state roads, labelled “SS”), which can be full with especially trucks at times, I experienced the traffic as not very dense. It might be different during the months of July and August, which are traditionally the holiday months in Italy. Just an example of how quiet and relaxing driving in this part of Italy can be: it was on a sunny late morning end of May (2011). I drove from Lago Cingoli towards SS76. The street was winding downhill, meadows with wildflowers left and right. Suddenly I saw a little salamander sunbathing in the middle of the street. I stopped my car and went to him to convince him, for the sake of his life, to leave his sunbathing place for a stone on the meadows. He almost didn’t hear me coming and only when I came very near he moved towards the side of the street. No car was in sight and so my car did survive this stop as well. I am trying to imagine to have done this anywhere else – almost impossible.
Nevertheless, visiting Marche by train and bus is also possible, albeit only to selected towns and with a possibly rather long travel day and several exchanges of transport.
First of all there is a train line along the coast, from Rimini via Pesaro to Ancona and southward to Pescara. Another train line leads from Ancona westward to Fabriano and ends in Rome. Another westward train line is between San Benedetto and Ascoli Piceno and one from Civitanova Marche via Macerata to Camerino. And finally one from Pesaro to Urbino. Only one line goes north-south, close to Apennine region: from Fabriano to Camerino.
Look at this map for the train lines, and a link to Italy’s Trenitalia website.
Bus travel is a bit more complicated because the lines are very regional and cover mostly a rather small (up to 50 km) circle around a bigger town. The only information I have found here is a list of the Italian regions and further links to the pullmann busses: Italian bus lines
© Ingrid D., February 2012.Related to:
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Ancona is also a very important adriatic sea harbour., from here many ferrys to Greece and Croatia leave every day.Ancona is the main tonw of Marche region and it's located near Conero park, so it's a good idea to arrive here if you want to explore that area.If you want to visit the southern part of region(ascoli piceno) may be arriving In Pescara(by train or flight) is a better option as, if you want to visit the northern part(Pesaro, Urbino) the best option is arriving in Rimini(by train or flight).Related to:
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You can arrive by flyght from Rome or Milan.
From London you can get directly in Ancona airport by Ryan air.
You can arrive by train from Turin, Venice, Milan, Rome, Bari and many other italian cities.
Parking in Portonovo, Monte Conero
When you go to Portonovo, from late April to half September, it's better to leave your car at the top of the hill above the bay. Simply turn opposite to Portonovo bay at the main crossroad with the blue flag, where they indicate Welcome to Portonovo. After a few meters there is a free and big car parking, where you can leave the car, and use the free bus to go down. It's not only a matter of parking prices, which are about 5 Euro per half day, but also a matter of space: it's often hard to find a park, even in a toll parking, unless you have a room in a hotel in the bay.Related to:
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Rentaing a Car is Best for Le Marche
Although there are two main train lines that go through Le Marche [the Milano-Bologna-Ancona-Lecce line and Roma-Falconara Marittima-Ancona line], it is much more convenient to have a car to cover the Le Marche region which is just under 10,000 square kilometres.
We rented from Auto Europe [before we left]. The car was a Peugeot 206 stick shift car. For ten days, the cost was $529.38 or about $53.00 per day. We picked it up at Rome Fiumicino Airport [Leonardo Da Vinci] and delivered it back.
If you want to cover the four provinces [Ancona, Ascoli Piceno, Macerata, Pesaro-Urbino], see both the mountains and the beaches, then a car is necessary. We rented our car through Euro Car Rental before we left the United States. We picked up and dropped off our car at the Airport in Rome. We just took our printed sheet to them when we arrived at the rental desk and submitted the sheet upon return. We had already paid everything before we left the States.
The Marche is right in the middle of the Italian peninsula and the surface area is between Emilia Romagna to the north; Toscany and Umbria to the west; Lazio and Abruzzo to the south. In our stick-shift car, covered most of that entire territory.
I will say that when in the historic city that were walled, we parked our car in a car park and walked within the town itself.
Since we had already been in Italy three other times and had always driven either leased or rental cars, we were fully aware of the driving habits of the Italians. Thus, it just seemed "normal" to us this time. Driving in the mountains with all the Italians can be pretty intimidating, I must admit.Related to:
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Public transportation &...
Public transportation & Co
Public transportation, it appears, is sparse. There are plenty of trains to and from Ancona - but to go out to smaller places it could be a problem. There are a handful of trains that go to Porto Recanati each day, and I've seen buses connecting Porto Recanati to Loreto and Recanati. I'm not quite sure how one could go to Urbino and Sirolo - I think sometimes to have a car it can be quite an advantage. Failing this, get a local to drive you around.
Photo: The old tower in Recanati, at night
We stayed at the G Hotel for one night only for a stopover while driving from Milan to the South of...more
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