The City of Ancona is an important port and capital of Italy's Marche region. An ancient city, most of its medieval center was destroyed by bombing during World War II. The cathedral survived on the mountain overlooking the Port of Ancona. The coast offers flat sandy beaches and the popular resorts of Santa Maria di Badia, Sirolo (Italian), and Portonovo at the base of Monte Conero some 11 kilometers southwest of the Port of Ancona. The Port of Ancona is also linked by ferry to ports in Greece, Turkey, and Croatia.
The Port of Ancona enjoys a Mediterranean climate with mild winters and hot dry summers. Unlike the relatively constant warm sunny summers, spring and winter can bring cold winds and changeable weather. Rain is more common in the winter in the Port of Ancona.
The Port of Ancona's cathedral church of San Ciriaco was built in the 12th Century AD. Some historians think an original church was located there in the 8th Century. It has ten columns that are believed to come from an ancient temple to Venus, the Venus of "good navigation." Carefully restored in the 1980s, the cathedral is the Port of Ancona's proudest symbol. The building boasts one of the most perfect and ancient domes in Italy.
The 1732 Lazzaretto (Italian) in the Port of Ancona is a pentagonal shaped building that covers over two hectares. The Lazzaretto was constructed to protect military authorities from contagious diseases coming to the port aboard visiting ships. It also served as a military hospital and barracks. Today, it is an important cultural center used for exhibits and cultural events. The Lazzaretto, designed by prominent 18th Century architect Luigi Vanvitelli, the building has been completely restored and is open to visitors.
The Port of Ancona's National Archaeological Museum tells the area's story from the Paleolithic, or early Stone Age, to the early Middle Ages. The museum's most popular section is that focused on Primitive History, containing 23 rooms with artifacts and displays from the Picenes and Gallic civilizations that include jewelry, vases, weapons, and tools. The museum is housed in the beautiful 16th Century Palazzo Ferretti, which is worth a visit in its own right.
The Port of Ancona is home to the Homer State Museum, the only museum in Europe for the blind. Available for exploration by touch, the museum contains many plaster molds of history's most famous sculptures, models of Egyptian and Greek masterpieces, and Etruscan and Roman artifacts. All displays are reproduced either in their actual size or to scale. Open to everyone, the museum offers a wonderful experience of "touching art."
Travelers who want to visit the Port of Ancona by sea can find a list of scheduled cruises on the Cruise Compete website.