Located between the Monti Sibillini and the Adriatic, ASCOLI PICENO is Le Marche’s greatest hidden gem and lies well off the tourist trail. This seems odd considering it has plenty of grand architecture and a lovely café-lined central square that’s among the most pleasant in the region. At Mardi Gras it hosts Le Marche’s most flamboyant carnival and in August its streets are given over to the Quintana, a medieval festival that incorporates a spectacular joust. If that wasn’t enough, Ascoli’s restaurants and food stalls are the proud purveyors of olive all’ascolana (deep-fried breadcrumb-crusted olives stuffed with veal), the closest Italy comes to the Scotch egg, but much tastier.

Ascoli has a compact centre, surrounded by largely intact walls. Piazza del Popolo is the place to get the feel of the town, while its small number of Roman remains and its churches and museums are scattered throughout the old centre.

Book through Rough Guides’ trusted travel partners

Italy features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

20 picturesque Christmas destinations

20 picturesque Christmas destinations

Dreaming of a trip this Christmas? We're here to help. From glittering cities to a few snowy escapes, here are 20 classic destinations for a festive break. …

12 Dec 2017 • Rough Guides Editors camera_alt Gallery
Discovering Palermo: why you should give Sicily’s capital a chance

Discovering Palermo: why you should give Sicily’s capital a chance

A city of grit and forgotten grandeur, for too long Palermo has resigned itself to being a film set of crumbling palaces, sun-worn facades and pockmarked backst…

08 Dec 2017 • Olivia Rawes insert_drive_file Article
19 places to get utterly lost

19 places to get utterly lost

One of the great joys of travelling is stumbling across unexpected places, wandering without a single destination in mind and embracing the journey. These place…

12 Sep 2017 • Keith Drew camera_alt Gallery
View more featureschevron_right