AskDefine | Define Ancona

User Contributed Dictionary

see ancona


Proper noun

  1. Province of Marche, Italy.
  2. Town and capital of Ancona and also the capital of Marche.
  3. A breed of poultry.
    • ”In all but colouring, the Ancona is a very similar bird to the Leghorn. It was imported from Italy probably some years before the latter. See ref. p.43.


  • French: Ancône (1, 2)
  • Italian: Ancona (1) , Ancona (2)


1962: C.Arthur Pearson. Pictorial Poultry-Keeping. Cox & Wyman Ltd (2nd ed.)


Proper noun

  1. Ancona (province)
  2. Ancona (town)

Extensive Definition

Ancona (lang-gr Angon) is a city and a seaport in the Marche, a region of central Italy, population 101,909 (2005). Ancona is situated on the Adriatic Sea and is the center of the province of Ancona and the capital of the region.
The city is located 210 km northeast of Rome and 200 km southeast of Bologna.
The town is finely situated on and between the slopes of the two extremities of the promontory of Monte Conero, Monte Astagno, occupied by the citadel, and Monte Guasco, on which the Duomo stands (150 m). The latter, dedicated to St Judas Cyriacus, is said to occupy the site of a temple of Venus, who is mentioned by Catullus and Juvenal as the tutelary deity of the place.


Ancona was founded from Syracuse about 390 BC, who gave it its name: Ancona is a very slightly modified transliteration of the Greek Αγκων, meaning "elbow"; the harbor to the east of the town was originally protected only by the promontory on the north, shaped like an elbow. Greek merchants established a Tyrian purple factory here (Sil. Ital. viii. 438). In Roman times it kept its own coinage with the punning device of the bent arm holding a palm branch, and the head of Aphrodite on the reverse, and continued the use of the Greek language.
When it became a Roman colony is doubtful. It was occupied as a naval station in the Illyrian War of 178 BC (Livy xli. i). Julius Caesar took possession of it immediately after crossing the Rubicon. Its harbour was of considerable importance in imperial times, as the nearest to Dalmatia, and was enlarged by Trajan, who constructed the north quay with his Syrian architect Apollodorus of Damascus. At the beginning of it stands the marble triumphal arch with a single archway, and without bas-reliefs, erected in his honour in 115 by the senate and people.
After the fall of the Western Roman Empire, Ancona was successively attacked by the Goths, Lombards and Saracens, but recovered its strength and importance. It was one of the cities of the Pentapolis under the exarchate of Ravenna. With the Carolingian conquest of northern Italy, it became the capital of the Marca di Ancona, whence the name of the modern region. After 1000 Ancona became increasingly independent, eventually turning into an important maritime republic (together with Gaeta, Trani and Ragusa, it is one of those not appearing on the Italian naval flag), often clashing against the nearby power of Venice. An oligarchic republic, Ancona was ruled by six Elders, elected by the three terzieri into which the city was divided: S. Pietro, Porto and Capodimonte. It had a coin of its own, the agontano, and a series of laws known as Statuti del mare e del Terzenale and Statuti della Dogana. Ancona was usually allied with Ragusa and the Byzantine Empire. In 1137, 1167 and 1174 it was strong enough to push back imperial forces. Anconitan ships took part to the Crusades, and his navigators include Cyriac of Ancona. In the struggle between the Popes and the Emperors that troubled Italy from the 12th century onwards, Ancona sided for Guelphs.
Differently from other cities of northern Italy, Ancona never became a seignory. The sole exception was the rule of the Malatesta, who took the city in 1348 taking advantage of the black death and of a fire that had destroyed much of the edifices. The Malatesta were ousted in 1383. In 1532 it lost definitively its freedom and became part of the Papal States, under Pope Clement VII. Symbol of the papal authority was the massive Citadel. Together with Rome and Avignon, Ancona was the sole city in the Papal States in which the Jews were allowed to stay after 1569, living into the ghetto built after 1555.
Pope Clement XII prolonged the quay, and an inferior imitation of Trajan's arch was set up; he also erected a Lazaretto at the south end of the harbor, Luigi Vanvitelli being the architect-in-chief. The southern quay was built in 1880, and the harbour was protected by forts on the heights.
From 1797 onwards, when the French took it, it frequently appears in history as an important fortress, until Christophe Léon Louis Juchault de Lamoricière capitulated here on 29 September 1860, eleven days after his defeat at Castelfidardo.

Main sights

Cathedral church of S. Ciriaco

The beautiful Cathedral, entitled to St. Ciriaco, was consecrated in 1128 and completed in 1189. Some writers suppose that the original church was in the form of a Latin cross and belonged to the 8th century. An early restoration was completed in 1234. It is a fine Romanesque building in grey stone, built in the form of a Greek cross, with a dodecagonal dome over the center slightly altered by Margaritone d'Arezzo in 1270. The façade has a Gothic portal, ascribed to Giorgio da Como (1228), which was intended to have a lateral arch on each side.
The interior, which has a crypt under each transept, in the main preserves its original character. It has ten columns which are attributed to the temple of Venus, and there are good screens of the 12th century, and other sculptures. The church was carefully restored in the 1980s.

Other monuments

  • The marble Arch of Trajan, 18m high, was erected in 114/115 as an entrance to the causeway atop the harbor wall in honor of the emperor who had made the harbor, is one of the finest Roman monuments in the Marche. Most of its original bronze enrichments have disappeared. It stands on a high podium approached by a wide flight of steps. The archway, only 3 m wide, is flanked by pairs of fluted Corinthian columns on pedestals. An attic bears inscriptions. The format is that of the Arch of Titus in Rome, but made taller, so that the bronze figures surmounting it, of Trajan, his wife Plotina and sister Marciana, would figure as a landmark for ships approaching Rome's greatest Adriatic port.
  • The Lazzaretto (Laemocomium or "Mole Vanvitelliana"), planned by architect Luigi Vanvitelli in 1732 is a pentagonal building covering more than 20,000 m², built to protect the military defensive authorities from the risk of contagious diseases eventually reaching the town with the ships. Later it was used also as a military hospital or as barracks; it is currently used for cultural exhibits.
  • The Episcopal Palace was the place where Pope Pius II died in 1464.
  • The church of Santa Maria della Piazza has an elaborate arcaded façade (1210).
  • The Palazzo del Comune, with its lofty arched substructures at the back, was the work of Margaritone d'Arezzo, but has been since twice restored.
There are also several fine late Gothic buildings, including the churches of S. Francesco and S. Agostino, the Palazzo Benincasa, the Palazzo del Senato and the Loggia dei Mercanti, all by Giorgio Orsini, usually called da Sebenico, and the prefecture, which has Renaissance additions.
The portal of S. Maria della Misericordia is an ornate example of early Renaissance work.
The archaeological museum contains interesting pre-Roman (Picene) objects from tombs in the district, and two Roman beds with fine decorations in ivory.
The Pinacoteca Civica Francesco Podesti is housed in the Palazzo Bosdari, reconstructed in 1558 - 1561 by Pellegrino Tibaldi. Among the works are paintings by the local painter Francesco Podesti (1800-1895) and the painter from Camerino Carlo da Camerino (late 15th- early 16th century) and by Arcangelo di Cola (not. 1416-1429). Also featured are paintings Andrea Lilli (1570c. - post 1631).
Other paintings include: "La Madonna col Bambino" tavola by Carlo Crivelli (1430/35c.- 1495c.) "Sacra Conversazione" by Lorenzo Lotto (1480 c.-1556) "Ritratto di Francesco Arsilli" by Sebastiano Del Piombo (1485 c.-1547) "La Circoncisione" by Orazio Gentileschi (1563 c.-1638 o 46) "L'Immacolata Concezione" & la "Santa Palazia" di Guercino (1591-1666) "Quattro Santi in estasi" & "Angeli musicanti" di Andrea Lillio Pala Gozzi by Tiziano Vecellio (1487/88-1576) featuring "L'Apparizione della Vergine" (1520).
Modern artists featured are Bartolini, Bucci, Campigli, Cassinari, Cucchi, Levi, Sassu, Tamburi, Trubbiani and others.


The Port has regular ferry links to the following cities with the following operators:
  • Adria Ferries (Durrës)
  • Blue Line International (Split, Stari Grad, Vis)
  • Jadrolinja (Split, Zadar)
  • SNAV (Split) (seasonal)
  • Superfast Ferries (Igoumenitsa, Patras)
  • ANEK Lines (Igoumenitsa, Patras)
  • Minoan Lines (Igoumenitsa, Patras)

Twin cities

Ancona in Arabic: أنكونا
Ancona in Bosnian: Ancona
Ancona in Breton: Ancona
Ancona in Bulgarian: Анкона
Ancona in Catalan: Ancona
Ancona in Czech: Ancona
Ancona in Danish: Ancona
Ancona in German: Ancona
Ancona in Modern Greek (1453-): Ανκόνα
Ancona in Spanish: Ancona
Ancona in Esperanto: Ancona
Ancona in Basque: Ancona
Ancona in French: Ancône (Italie)
Ancona in Galician: Ancona
Ancona in Croatian: Ancona
Ancona in Indonesian: Ancona
Ancona in Italian: Ancona
Ancona in Javanese: Ancona
Ancona in Latin: Ancona
Ancona in Lithuanian: Ankona
Ancona in Ligurian: Anconn-a
Ancona in Hungarian: Ancona
Ancona in Dutch: Ancona (stad)
Ancona in Japanese: アンコーナ
Ancona in Neapolitan: Ancona
Ancona in Norwegian: Ancona
Ancona in Norwegian Nynorsk: Ancona
Ancona in Occitan (post 1500): Ancona
Ancona in Piemontese: Ancon-a
Ancona in Polish: Ankona
Ancona in Portuguese: Ancona
Ancona in Romanian: Ancona
Ancona in Russian: Анкона
Ancona in Albanian: Ancona
Ancona in Sicilian: Ancona
Ancona in Simple English: Ancona
Ancona in Serbian: Анкона
Ancona in Finnish: Ancona (kaupunki)
Ancona in Swedish: Ancona
Ancona in Turkish: Ancona
Ancona in Ukrainian: Анкона
Ancona in Urdu: انکونا
Ancona in Venetian: Ancona
Ancona in Volapük: Ancona
Ancona in Chinese: 安科纳
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