Ancona is a city and a seaport in the Marche region in central Italy, with a population of c.101,997 as of 2015. Ancona is the capital of the province of Ancona and of the region, the city is located 280 km northeast of Rome, on the Adriatic Sea, between the slopes of the two extremities of the promontory of Monte Conero, Monte Astagno and Monte Guasco. Ancona is one of the ports on the Adriatic Sea, especially for passenger traffic. Greek merchants established a Tyrian purple dye factory here, 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 uncertain and it was occupied as a naval station in the Illyrian War of 178 BC. Julius Caesar took possession of it immediately after crossing the Rubicon and 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, Ancona was successively attacked by the Goths, Lombards and Saracens between the 3rd and 5th centuries, but recovered its strength and importance. It was one of the cities of the Pentapolis of the Roman Exarchate of Ravenna in the 7th and 8th centuries, in 840, Saracen raiders sacked and burned the city. After Charlemagnes conquest of northern Italy, it became the capital of the Marca di Ancona, after 1000, Ancona became increasingly independent, eventually turning into an important maritime republic, 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, Ancona was usually allied with Ragusa and the Byzantine Empire. In 1137,1167 and 1174 it was enough to push back the forces of the Holy Roman Empire. Anconitan ships took part in the Crusades, and their navigators included Cyriac of Ancona, in the struggle between the Popes and the Holy Roman Emperors that troubled Italy from the 12th century onwards, Ancona sided with the 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 many of its important buildings. The Malatesta were ousted in 1383, in 1532 it definitively lost its freedom and became part of the Papal States, under Pope Clement VII. Symbol of the authority was the massive Citadel. Together with Rome, and Avignon in southern France, Ancona was the city in the Papal States in which the Jews were allowed to stay after 1569. 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
Aerial view of Ancona
The Vanvitelli's Lazzaretto.
The portal of the church of San Francesco.
A cannon situated near the Arch of Trajan, with the Cattedrale San Ciriaco visible in the background.