Terminus of the Roman Via Flaminia
Flying to this region was a long time planned not just only for reaching all these cities never been before, but for reaching San Marino, which you can easily do if flying to Rimini, some 15 km away from the border, Ancona or Bologna airports, both around 100 km away. Since flying to Rimini was well overpriced, and Bologna a place we’ve been in other occasions, Ancona was the perfect candidate and get to see as much as possible from the region and the coastline.
Being all such small cities, it is perfect for a weekend trip. You will have plenty of time and no rush for anything, furthermore, since you will end up with more free time than expected, you can stop along the way in other small villages. Almost all of them contain nice Roman remains, bastions, citadels and beautiful buildings.
Ancona itself is nothing out of the blue, that’s for sure. Just a busy port city; and maybe because we went out of season and on a weekend, it was hard to find anything even opened, not even the restaurants. The Roman arch is really worth to see, although unfortunately it’s been left stranded in the port hence the surroundings are not the nicest at all with a road passing right at the front. The best view of it is from the Parco del Cardeto Hill. Now, if I am honest with you, do not plan any longer than 4 hours of sightseeing if your plans include to head later towards Rimini or elsewhere. There is not much more you could do in here.
Few kilometres north of the city is Fano. Smaller than Ancona, but with more and better monumental sights to see, specially the almost perfect Roman arch and the impressive walls still standing at most of its enclosure.
Keeping up north is Rimini, some 100 km from Ancona. It is also bigger and nicer than Ancona. But you need to remember that all this area was heavily bombed during the WWII raids hence the reason why there are not so many historical buildings standing like in most of any other city in Italy.
The entrance to the old city is like in Fano, through the beautifully preserved Roman arch. Remains of the walls can be seen at both sides of the arch and through the city. At the opposite end of the city there is a railway bridge where honestly, do not bother to cross and go any further, all that lies in the other side is the new city, with quite ugly buildings, and further beyond, the sea.
With regards to what to eat, well, you are in Italy, and this is generally never a problem, unless you don’t find the restaurants opened as in Ancona happened to us. Just remember to get to a restaurant before 14.00pm no later, or you risk the kitchens closing. Great and cheap pizza or pasta can be found in almost every restaurant. The more local the place is, the better. And as I keep mentioning for any Italian guide in my blog, the best deal for the evening would be a traditional “apericena”. These are the happy hour places where you order a drink and get a free food buffet with it. Or course we are not talking in just ordering a coke or the likes and get all the goodies, no, we are talking in a price range between 8 to 12 Euros the common, with a nice cocktail.
What to see and do in Ancona and Fano
- Cathedral On Guasco hill, overlooking the city and the port.
- Parco del Cardeto On the surrounding hill, offers great views of city.
- Arch of Trajan Built in honour of Trajan emperor in 115 AD.
- Lazzaretto Mole Vanvitelliana From 1732, was a quarantine station for maritime travellers and has a pentagonal shape.
- Church of Santa Maria della Piazza The oldest church in the city, dating from 1210.
- Episcopal Palace Where Pope Pius II died in 1464.
- Palazzo degli Anziani Located in what is known as Piazza del Comune, the city’s municipal seat since the 13th century.
- Loggia dei Mercanti One of the finest Gothic style buildings in the city, dating from 1442.
- Maritime Promenade Although not as beautiful as anyone might think of a sea promenade, you can get nice views of the old city and the hill.
- Fano Small village not far from Ancona and worth the visit if you are on your way to Rimini, or for a small visit from Ancona. The Roman door is extremely well preserved.
What to see and do in Rimini
- Arch of Augustus Dating back from 27 BC and perfectly conserved. The walls can be also seen at both sides of the arch.
- Ponte d’Augusto or Bridge of Tiberius, finished in 20 AD, was luckily not bombed during WWII.
- Roman Amphitheatre Few remains from this 2nd Century theatre.
- Castel Sismondo From 1437, just few meters behind the Teatro Galli.
- Teatro Galli From 1857, never restored after the bombings in WWII.
- Palazzo dell’Arengo e del Podestà From 1204 is the seat of the judiciary and civil administrations.
- Malatestiano Temple The 13th Century Cathedral, unfinished ever since 1468 even the groundbreaking was back in year 800 AD.
- Piazza Tre Martiri The heart of the city, where in the ancient times both main roads would meet, the Forum.
- Piazza Cavour The next major square within the old town, fully surrounded by historical buildings.
Raffaello Sanzio International Airport is located 18 km from the city of Ancona and you can get to the city by bus from outside the terminal. Rimini airport does also offer a nice selection of flights across Europe, and it is also straightforward to get to the city centre by bus.
Ancona and Rimini are 108 km away, and you can drive there either on the motorway, where you will need to pay, or by the coastal route, free of charge. This takes longer, but it’s much worth it as you get to see many little villages such as Fano. Elsewhere across Italy is easy to get on a train or bus and reach anywhere in no time, for example from nearby Verona, Bologna or Florence.
Within any of these cities of Ancona, Fano and Rimini you will not need any public transport at all. They are extremely small where you can walk absolutely everywhere between the sights in no time.
We decided to stay in Rimini as this saved us a lot of time the following day in order to get to San Marino, and also resulted in much cheaper and nicer accommodation than what as the choice in Ancona. Sp having a look at some of our preferred affiliate hotel search engine such as Hotels.com, Booking.com, Expedia, Otel.com, Agoda, Opodo, LateRooms or Ebookers is the best way to start. Then, if your budget is still not met, there is a good selection of properties through airb&b and the likes of course.
We can recommend the Hotel Rubens, in Viale Gubbio 18, Rivazzurra, 47924. Of course by the time of the year we went, absolutely low season, more than half of the hotels were closed and the remaining open ones really empty. Rimini can get very busy during high season, and prices definitely will be different to what we paid. This always work great for us as we try to avoid going to the over touristy places during the high season and therefore enjoy a great trip at a fraction of the price. The hotel was simple and nice, comfortable and quiet rooms, friendly staff and nice breakfast. We could not ask for more considering we were here only for a night.
Album for Ancona and Fano
Album of Rimini