The City of Ascoli Piceno is the pivotal centre of one of the five district (provinces) in the Region of Marche, and it stands out for its vivid and diverse artistic profile.In Ascoli Piceno, the legacy of past historical stages has been captured by the typical local stone, the travertine, which has crystallized different artistic and architectural styles, from roman to medieval, from renaissance to baroque.
The City is embraced by two rivers - Castellano and Tronto - and it is dominated by the stunning "Piazza del Popolo" (literally People's Square, to witness the importance as catalyst of the city life in the past years), dated XV-XVI century, decorated with a harmonious and symmetric columned portico, and which reunites the three main symbols of power: the political one, with the "Palazzo dei Capitani del Popolo" Captains' Palace (equivalent to the Governors' residence, dated XIII and XVI century); the religious one, with the roman-gothic Church of Saint Francesco, "San Francesco" (XVI century); and the commercial one, with the Merchants' Lodge (XVI century).
Additionally, the City does praise an additional centre of civic aggregation, "Piazza Arringo", the Arringo Square, which takes its name from the public assemblies held since the early stages of the political life of the city. In a broader perspective, this place has been liaising the civil and religious poles of Ascoli across time, due to the presence of the"Duomo di Sant'Emidio" , the Cathedral, of the Episcopate buildings and of the Town Hall. One of Ascoli's treasures is in a chapel off the right aisle: an altarpiece consisting of several panels (a polyptych), painted by Carlo Crivelli, a Venetian, in 1473, representing the Madonna, apostles and saints.
"The Annunciation" by Carlo Crivelli is currently displayed at the London National Gallery (www.nationalgallery.org.uk)
In the latter is located "La Pinacoteca" the Municipal Art Gallery, with worldwide known paintings by C. Crivelli, Tiziano, P. Alemanno, Cola dell’Amatrice, as well as the thirteenth Ascoli cope by Niccolò IV.
On top of that, Ascoli has an intrinsic artistic and historical attractiveness, made of roman churches, supercilious travertine towers, and amazing surrounding landscapes when considering Mountain Monte dell’Ascensione (1.108 mt.) (1.108 m.) or the Group of Monti Sibillini .
Finally, the local craftsmanship is giving life to ceramic items. Opened on the 1st of June 2007, the Museum of Ceramics "Museo della Ceramica" is located next to the Romanesque church of San Tommaso and has a fully equipped laboratory, with a ceramic kiln and a potter’s wheel.
Comune di Ascoli Piceno: www.comune.ascoli-piceno.it
Provincia di Ascoli Piceno: www.provincia.ap.it
Tourism Itinerary: www.turismo.marche.it
Curiosity: The Cope of Pope Nicholas IV & Jean Pierpont Morgan
On the website of the New York Times is possible to download an article published in 1904 about the history of the stealing of the "Cope of Pope Nicholas IV", a work that was stolen from the Cathedral's treasure of Ascoli Piceno,following the exhibition of the cope in London, and prior to the donation by the famous American banker Jean Pierpont Morgan. Interesting considerations are expressed about the opportunity 'or not to return the work, from the artistic point of view and of criminal law. Web site: (www.nytimes/piviale.pdf)
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