Itinerary: Riviera of Conero, Ancona, Portonovo, Sirolo, Numana
From Ancona to Numana, exploring Conero Riviera with its beautiful Medieval villages, rocky coastlines and sandy beaches
Riviera of Conero is a stunning, jagged and rocky stretch of the coast that extends from Ancona to Numana in the Marches region. It is about 20 kilometers long featuring the wide promontory of Mount Conero (pic nr°1) that overlooks the Adriatic Sea and the namesake Riviera.
The rocky coast, rich in beautiful inlets, marine caves, and pebbly beaches (some of them can be reached on foot or by boat only) is surrounded by lush vegetation and a stunning natural environment. In Mount Conero area nature lovers can walk along romantic vineyards, olive groves or among the green forests of Mediterranean trees, such as cane-apple trees, mastic trees, holm oaks, and others. Since 1987, the whole area has been part of Regional Park of Conero.
Our tour starts from Ancona , the main city of the Marches and the Riviera. It is an ancient town, founded by the Greek people in 387 B.C., with some interesting attractions of art, culture, and architecture you can visit. So, while here, do not miss the Romanesque style "Duomo" (Cathedral of San Ciriaco) (pic nr°3), built at the end of the tenth century and featuring a beautiful front gate with two lions, the symbol of the city. As the cathedral is built on the top of a hill, you can also enjoy a spectacular view over Riviera of Conero !
You should also visit the Romanesque-style 12th-century "Church of Santa Maria della Piazza" and the 14th-century "Church of San Francesco alle Scale", among the other amazing churches in Ancona built in different ages. Also, pay a visit to the "Cittadella", a fifteenth-century fortification, or to "Lazzeretto", an imposing building designed by architect Luigi Vanvitelli built on an artificial island. You can also visit some wonderful buildings, palaces, and monuments, such as "Loggia dei Mercanti", "Palazzo del Senato" and "Arco Clementino". The art enthusiasts will be happy to visit the Museum of Archeology, the Civic Art Museum, and Museo Tattile Omero. When your visit is over do not miss the beautiful beaches in the Ancona area, among them Passetto Beach is the most popular and evocative one.
12 kilometers south of Ancona you will reach the small town of Portonovo (pic nr°4), a lively and popular tourist destination. The main attractions of Portonovo are:
- the eleventh-century Church of St. Mary, a little Romanesque-style jewel nestled between the blue sea and the Mediterranean plants;
- Torre di Guardia (or Torre Clementina), built in 1716 at the request of Pope Clement XI in order to fight the pirates' attacks back;
- Fortino Napoleonico built in 1810 during the reign of Napoleon to prevent the British ships from reaching the coast.
Portonovo boasts some beautiful beaches loved by both tourists and locals, such as Mezzavalle Beach, Trave Beach, and Beach of Vela. At lunchtime, do not miss the typical wild mussels (called "moscioli") in one of the many waterfront restaurants: they are amazing!
Then, drive around Mount Conero, and reach Sirolo, an ancient Medieval village. Here, we suggest wandering around the narrow alleys, visiting "I Pini" archeological site, or having an ice cream in "Piazzetta di Sirolo", a lively square which also allow you to enjoy a wonderful view. You can also visit two interesting churches: the thirteenth-century Church of San Nicola and Church of San Pietro al Conero, built by the Benedictine monks in the eleventh century. Some of the most beautiful beaches of the Conero Riviera belong to the Sirolo area: "Spiaggia delle Due Sorelle" ("Two sisters" beach) (pic nr°2), named after two stacks that emerge from the sea, or Beach of San Michele and Beach Urbani.
The last stop of our tour is Numana (pic nr°6), just one kilometer south. This town is divided into two parts: the upper Numana is the picturesque historic center of the village built on a rock overlooking the sea while the lower Numana is mostly consists of the colorful tourist port. Among narrow alleys and quaint fishermen's houses, here in Numana, you can visit "Antiquarium Statale", which preserves a collection of treasures found in ancient necropolises, or "Santuario del Crocifisso" (Sanctuary of the Crucifix), with its beautiful frescoes and an ancient wooden crucifix which is said to be miraculous. You can also visit the remains of a Roman arch (pic nr°5), "Palazzo dei Vescovi", and "La Costarella", the typical staircase of the town, before heading to the beaches of Spiaggiola, del Frate or Marcelli.
Riviera of Conero is an ideal destination for everybody, because of the crystal-clear waters of its beaches, most of them granted the "Blue Flag status", the natural and beautiful landscapes, the lovely secluded or well-equipped beaches offering many activities for the whole family. But also, because of its history, art, and culture you can feel and learn in its Medieval villages.
Some pictures of Riviera of Conero:
The wide promontory of Mount Conero (pic nr°1); "Two sisters" beach, Sirolo (pic nr°2); Cathedral of San Ciriaco, Ancona (pic nr°3); Portonovo and Mount Conero (pic nr°4); Roman Arch, Numana (pic nr°5); Numana (pic nr°6);