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Ancona – Day 2

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I got up late, and I mean late. It was actually nice and warm in the ‘bedroom’ and I struggled to motivate myself to get out from under the cozy duvet. Anyway, I eventually got up and went into the shower, only to find out there was no hot water at all. Scottish shower it is then! After a good breakfast, I headed out and decided to walk again, this time back to the city centre. All this walking is actually really good–I checked the health and fitness app on my smartphone and found that I’d walked a total of 14 miles yesterday! Today, I managed to reach just under 13 miles.

There were a few other stragglers on the dodgy route back to the city, which was a bit reassuring–at least I wasn’t the only one walking this way. As I neared the centre, I decided to head straight for the cathedral on the top of a hill overlooking Ancona. It was a long walk, but not an unpleasant once, and very scenic. The climb was actually less steep than I expected, since it’s broken up by a series of outdoor stairs and slightly inclined streets. The route back down was even better, with the route being directly along the coast, so you could gaze out over the sea as you walked.

There are lots of historic buildings around this area, and they are also marked with a little brown sign stating the name of the building and when it was first built. There are also lots of signposts indicating the way to different places of interest, so they aren’t too hard to find. Generally, I think I’ve got the ‘hang’ of this town. There is a main ‘axis’ going through Piazza della Repubblica, Piazza Roma, and Piazza Cavour. The three streets connecting them are Corso Garibaldi, Corso Mazzini, and Corso Stamira. Continuing westwards out of Piazza Cavour is Vialle della Vittoria, which is a long road leading to the Monumento ai Caduti and the seashore.

After seeing the cathedral, I headed back to Piazza Roma and bought an ice cream from one the shops. I always find some of these places so confusing. It isn’t clear how or where you are supposed to order and where and when you pay. In the place I went, I saw a queue of people lining up and paying, but it appeared as though they were paying for what they’d already eaten. There were also people outside eating ice cream, which they’d obviously just bought from there, but there wasn’t a single person at the ice cream counter inside. Oh well, I decided to join the queue and find out. As it happened, you pay afterwards if you’re eating in, but pay immediately if you’re eating out. Fair enough, but why is there only one queue for paying and ordering?

Anyway, I then walked down the long Viale della Vittoria and arrived at the sombre Monumento ai Caudti (Monument to the Fallen). From there, I walked down to a pebble beach and spent a bit of time sitting there–the sun was pleasantly warm now and it was nice to just sit down and soak it all in. There was this one guy who turned up with rap music blaring from his phone. No consideration, some people…!

Afterwards, I walked back to Piazza Roma, had a prosciutto panino and an espresso, then went off to Piazza del Plebiscito (which is apparently called Piazza del Papa by the locals, on account of the statue of a pope on the edge of the square). The piazza is surrounded by restaurants of different kinds, and I was tempted to stay till late and have a proper sit-down dinner. I decided to put that off till tomorrow.

By the way, a few Russians aside, there don’t actually seem to be many tourists in Ancona at all. Maybe it’s just the time of year, though. Generally, I like the town, but it doesn’t have the vibrancy of Rome or Milan. It is a relatively small, after all. I guess I like to find a large central piazza with plenty going on, and that really doesn’t exist here. It’s also worth noting that I haven’t seen a single shop selling souvenirs from the town, which I’ve seen pretty much everywhere else I’ve been in Italy. I guess that means there aren’t really many tourists here, after all.

I then went to the Mole Vanvitelliana to see the flower show. Unfortunately, I was a bit late and it was already closing for the day. Oh, well, looks like another item for the Sunday list! I made the long walk back–getting used to it now–and returned to the boat just after sunset. I made a pasta dinner, and then went out for a late-night stroll around the marina. That was really nice–the sky was dotted with stars and it was nice to spot the North Star while standing on the boat, just like the navigators of old!

Well, it’s been a slightly underwhelming day, probably on account of getting up late, but still perfectly pleasant. Looking forward to tomorrow (and a 6:30 am rise)!

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