The history of the Festival places
Arch of Trajan
The arch, made of Hymettus marble, was built around the year 115 AD on the project of Apollodorus of Damascus to celebrate the emperor Trajan and the works to enlarge the port of Ancona. The arch, at the times of Romans, was the first monument that ships noticed accessing the port of Ancona. The whole original decorative ensemble was plundered by the Saracens in the 9th century and today we can only appreciate the holes in which the bronze decorations were fixed.
Loggia dei Mercanti
Via della Loggia
The structure is the symbol of the merchants’ power in Ancona over the centuries. The façade of the building, made by the artist Giorgio di Matteo da Sebenico, active in the second half of the 15th century, displays the city’s coat of arms: a knight fighting and riding a horse, identified as the emperor Trajan. Beside the coat of arms there are sculptures describing Hope, Strength, Justice and Charity. In the interior, the vault is decorated with frescos and stucco representing Le Virtù (the Virtues), made by Pellegrino Tibaldi in the second half of the 16th century.
The Mole Vanvitelliana was designed in the 4th century by Luigi Vanvitelli. The building immediately became one of the symbols of Ancona. Its typical pentagonal shape, built on an artificial island inside the port, makes it a peculiar and unique artistic structure. Over the centuries, the building has been used for different functions: hospitalization for people in quarantine, military barracks, manufacturing bond, sugar refinery and tobacco warehouse.
Municipal Art Gallery of Ancona
Palazzo Bosdari, vicolo Foschi 4
The elegant building, that contains the valuable collection of the City Gallery “Francesco Podesti”, was named after one of the richest families of merchants living in Ancona during the 16th century, whose origin was Dalmatian: the Bosdari family. Inside the building, which has recently been reopened to the public and connected to the adjacent Palazzo Bonomini, you can find masterpieces of renowned artists, like Carlo Crivelli, Lorenzo Lotto, Tiziano, Sebastiano del Piombo, Guercino, Maratti, Bucci, Cagli, Cucchi, Levi, Trubbiani.
Cultural Centre Sant’Agostino
Via Cialdini 1
Built by the Augustinian in 1341, the former church of Saint Augustine displays a valuable portal made by Giorgio Orsini da Sebenico and dated back to the 14th century. In the 18th century, Luigi Vanvitelli signed a project for the complete restoration of the church, but after the Unification of Italy the building lost its religious functions and became a military barrack, with a totally different structure. Today there are a few features left of the original layout and of the renovation works performed by Luigi Vanvitelli. The structure contains the room of the Guglielmo Marconi Museum, dedicated to the history of telecommunication.
Archaeological site of the Roman port
The ruins of the ancient Roman port are proof of the continuous usage of the area in the late republican period until the 5th century AD. Among the ruins, it is possible to appreciate a section of the ancient city walls of the port, built in the 2nd century B.C., when Ancona became the base of the Roman fleet that patrolled the Adriatic sea during Illyrian wars. It is also possible to observe rectangular sections of the Augustan age, used for the construction of ships or warehouses.
Secretariat of the Adriatic Ionian Initiative
Cittadella di Ancona
The construction of the Cittadella of Ancona started in 1532 and was ordered by Pope Clement VII. The project was made by Antonio da Sangallo il Giovane. Provided with five ramparts, it is one of first examples of fortress resistant to firearms shooting, a model copied throughout Europe. It played a fundamental role during the several sieges suffered by Ancona and it kept being used for military activities until 1972. Then it fell into disuse for more than 30 years. In 2008 the restoration of the monument has started.