Ancient Roman testimony in Ancona
Among the most important Roman testimonies of the Marche, the Arch of Trajan was built in the 2nd century AD by Apollodorus of Damascus in honour of Emperor Trajan, who had the port of Ancona enlarged at his own expense, as reported by the three Latin inscriptions still visible today. Built in Turkish marble and 14 metres high, it rises on a step podium.
Two sturdy pillars frame the central archway and are adorned on both façades by two pairs of fluted columns with Corinthian capitals. It was originally enhanced by six gilded bronze statues: three statues of gods, towards the sea, and three of the emperor, his wife and his sister, towards land, then stolen by the Saracens in the ninth century. The decoration also included fourteen rosters, a symbol of Roman naval power.
On both sides, in the keystones, you can admire two busts: the Oceanus still well preserved and the Tellus, unfortunately eroded, underlining the value of the Arch as a connecting point and gateway between land and sea.
Not far away are the remains of the Roman harbour walls. Also don't miss the Marche National Archaeological Museum. Among other things, a model reconstructing the original appearance of the Arch is preserved here.