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Enchantment on the Conero Riviera

A sinuous promontory designed by the winds that Mount Conero (after which this area in the Marches was named) encounters while overlooking the Adriatic Sea. Tens of beaches surrounded by rocks and luxuriant vegetation that can only be reached by boat or on paths, and numerous cities full of history and tradition: This is the Conero Riviera.

A surprising green and occasionally wild nature, unforgettable crystal-clear sea and many beaches - some easier to access than others - characterize the Riviera. Among these is Due Sorelle beach (which can only be reached by boat), named this way due to two large stacks (precisely the due sorelle or two sisters), and Mezzavalle beach.Conero Riviera - Mezzavalle - Photo by roachy_737 - FlickrThere is also the charming Vela beach, with a vela or sail-shaped rock. Finally, it’s impossible not to be attracted by the charming gravel and stone beaches of Portonovo, which are all surrounded by the Mediterranean scrub. This enchanting little town is also home to the church of Santa Maria, a Romanesque treasure dating back to the 11th century. The Conero is in fact the Riviera to the city of Ancona. There are many things to see in this county town: The duomo (cathedral) of S. Ciriaco, the rocca (fortress) of the 16th-century citadel, the bastione (bastion) of San Paolo al Cassero, Cardeto park, the amphitheatre, Piazza del Plebiscito, the civic art gallery with works of art by Guercino, Lotto and Tiziano, the Museo Archeologico (Museum of Archaeology) and the Museo Statale Omero, which is the only tactile museum in Europe.

There are many holiday resorts along the Conero Riviera, starting with Sirolo, a typical medieval village perched above the sea and the only area in the Marches enriched with archaeological excavations. The church of the city’s patron saint, San Nicola of Bari, has been dominating the piazza since 1200. Worth seeing: One of the largest Picene necropolises in the “Pini” area, and the church of San Pietro al Conero (11th century), which was originally built by the Benedictine monks. Another leg is Numana. In addition to its marvelous beaches, it also has a lot to offer in terms of culture such as the Antiquarium Statale museum with its collection of treasures of the Picene Queen and of other necropolises, or the new sanctuary that houses the miraculous wooden crucifix which, according to legend, was made by those who removed the body of Christ from the Cross. Finally, there is La Torre arch, the only medieval ruins of the tower of the ancient parish church of San Giovanni. 

Be sure to tour Recanati, the birthplace of poet Giacomo Leopardi, where many places recall of him: Palazzo Leopardi and the annexed library, Colle dell’Infinito and the ruins of the ancient Torre di Sant’Agostino tower, which was an inspiration for Passero Solitario (The Lonely Sparrow). This marvellous little town whose old town centre is surrounded by city walls dating back to the 1200’s, is also home to masterpieces by Lorenzo Lotto, which can be admired at Villa Colloredo Mels and in the church of San Domenico. A stop should also be made at the cathedral of San Flaiano, with sarcophagi dating back to the 1400’s, including the one of Pope Gregory II.  Take a tour of Porto Recanati in the ancient colonia of Potentia, and go for a stroll along the lively seaside promenade. 

However, there are still many places along this Riviera, each of which with artistic, cultural and historic evidence making them unique: AguglianoCamerata Picena, PolverigiS. Maria NuovaOstre VetereCastelfidardoCamerano, FilottarnoOffagna, Osimo, Potenza Picena and Loreto, one of the most important places of pilgrimage in the Catholic world. Then there is also the hinterland, which is full of plant and animal species and is protected by the Conero Park. The heart of this environmental oasis (5,800 hectares of protected area) is Mount Conero (527 m), whose characteristic profile can be seen from afar.

Useful Information

For sports enthusiasts
A holiday on the Conero Riviera is a truly unique experience that is especially suitable for those who love sailingwindsurfing and kitesurfing (which is favoured by strong, constant winds), and for skin-divers (due to the rich seabeds), and those who love canoeing (which is the ideal means to explore the cliffs of Mount Conero).

For those who would like to arrive by boat, they can moor in the harbour of Numana. Mount Conero is also one of the most charming areas in Italy to explore while biking, hiking or horseback riding. There are more than 20 hiking routes and birdwatching can also be enjoyed in many areas. There is a prestigious 27-hole golf course for golf enthusiasts, located on the downward slopes of Mount Conero, further to the south.

For those who don’t love extreme nature and would rather have all the comforts of home, the Riviera has beaches with all the facilities for a comfortable holiday with many bathing establishments.

For food lovers 
Sea breezes and calcareous soil allow the Montepulciano vineyards to express themselves in the unmistakable taste of the ruby-red DOC and DOCG quality wine from the Mount Conero area (whose capital is Camerano).
Dishes to try: Fish in broth, a typical dish from the Riviera cooked with over 10 types of specialities, stoccafisso all’anconitana (stockfish from Ancona), vincisgrassi which is a local version of baked lasagne, rabbit (try the coniglio in Porchetta alla Filottranese recipe which is something special), chicken or lamb cooked in potacchio (boiled), and let’s not forget about the sweets, which include cavallucci (biscuits) from Cingoli or maiorchino (a soft almond cake) from Ostra Vetere.

Dont miss these events!
: Festival of San Ciriaco in Ancona, Festival of Fish in Numana and Serenate in Polverigi.
June: Hot-air balloon gathering in Cingoli, fair of San Vito and Celebrazioni Leopradiane in Recanati.
July: Festival of Threshing and Folklore in Cingoli, Fisherman’s Festival in Ostra Vetere, Bandiera Blu Festival in Sirolo.
August: Contesa dello Stivale Festival in Filottarno, Festival of the Sea and historic palio horse race of San Giovanni in Porto Recanati.
September: Festival of the Sea in Ancona, Rosso Conero Festival in Camerano, Corsa del Drappo race in Loreto.

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