Tis Returns to Italy! Day 54: The Magical Town of Ascoli Piceno
In another success of random road trips, I arrived last night in the absolutely magical town of Ascoli Piceno.
I had chosen to spend the night here to break up my trip to Bari for a few reasons. It was near the midpoint of the trip, and had a reasonably priced room in an old Palace. Who doesn’t like spending a night in a palace? Additionally, it is located in the Marche region which is often described as the most beautiful region in Italy that is not being visited by tourists. Only having a night here was unfortunate but I would get a taste of it and see if I wanted to return.
We Meet after Sunset
Arriving at dusk, I first thought I had missed out by not having a little time in the afternoon to get to see and know the town a bit in the light. I was wrong. Wandering around at night, feeling surrounded by all of these medieval buildings that just ooze character and history, was magical. I could only imagine the full beauty of the place that was at the time, cloaked in darkness.
The incredibly lovely young woman working in reception at my Palace advised me to go to Ristorante Vittoria an old historic caffè. I arrived and was given a table by the front door, allowing me a view of the entire caffè. Given that it was October, I was likely the only tourist there. The locals came in and out, exchanging greetings with the staff and complimenting the consistently good food. The atmosphere alone was worth the time spent here.
After having a nightcap elsewhere, I headed back to my Palace for the night. I crawled into bed underneath the wood-beamed ceiling of my top floor room, imagining all the history that surrounded me in this beautiful place.
Getting to Know You
The next morning I was excited to see this mystical city show me all of its treasures in the daylight. After a lovely breakfast in my palace of fresh fruits and hot tea, I headed out to see a different side of Ascoli Piceno. It was even lovelier during the day as it is at night. If I had arrived during the day, I would not have been able to be “teased” by the city, only showing me glimpses of the treasures it holds, and making me wait to see its full beauty in the morning.
I Will Return…
There is such a lovely mix of everything in this city. Beautiful old caffès serve their time-tested recipes just a few doors down from a birerria serving a variety of craft beers. One can enjoy a beautiful art collection in the Paninoteca, which tells stories of the past through art. While visiting the museum, one can see the entry to the mayor’s office, which shares a floor with the museum, where people busily go about the current business of the city. The beautiful Piazza del Popolo is in the center of it all, with caffès that allow you to have your coffee or wine and discuss the day ahead of you, all in a beautiful square that possibly dates back to Roman times.
My time in Ascoli Piceno was far too brief. However, it truly charmed me and I have no doubt, we will meet again.
Ciao for now!