Ancona is the capital of Italian region Marche and one of the most important ports on the Adriatic Sea. Beautiful nature and good location of the site in the 4th century BC attracted the first settlers who were the Greeks from Syracuse. They named the settlement Ancona what means “elbow” -- because the new harbour was protected from the north by the cape shaped like a human elbow. The Greeks started to manufacture valuable Tyrian purple dye in their new town. It made Ancona famous in the ancient world and the town grew and flourished. In 2nd century BC it was conquered by the Romans. The harbour of Ancona had a strategic significance for them in the imperial times. In the course of history Ancona was conquered by varios invaders. Luckily, wars and conflicts did not ruin the city and most of its historical heritage survived until our days.
Car rental in Ancona is an optimal way to explore the city. It allows to create your own routes, make your own wonderful discoveries and helps not to miss anything great. The impressive list of sights include beautiful Romanesque Cathedral built in the shape of a Greek cross, the Lazaretto – former military hospital today used for exhibitions, magnificent Episcopal Palace, church of Sant’Agostino built in the 14th century and later turned into a palace, luxurious building of Loggia dei Mercanti where local and foreign merchants used to have meetings, Palazzo Ferretti that now houses the National Archaeological Museum, Pinacoteca Civica “Francesco Podesta” – the municipal art gallery. But the main historical gem of Ancona is the marble Arch of Trajan, eight metres high, built in 114 AD on the top of the harbour wall. It is one of the most famous and best preserved Roman monuments in the region of Marche.
You can hire a car in Ancona and drive to nearby town of Loreto, the place of pilgrimage for millions of Catholics. The town’s famous Basilica della Santa Casa contains small house in which, it is believed, the Virgin Mary once lived. As the legend goes, in the 13th century the Holy House was transported from Nazareth by angels first to Dalmatia and then to Loreto. The interior is richly decorated with statues, frescoes and mosaic by great Italian artists.
Car rental in Ancona also gives a nice opportunity to spend a day in the national park Monte Conero. It is a real “museum of nature” with plenty of excellent samples of Mediterranean flora and fauna, remnants of Neolithic settlement on the top of the mountain, mysterious grottos and caves, intricate limestone rocks and amazing views.