This is an area of Italy that very few tourists ever get to see. The Marches region borders the Adriatic Sea to the east and the Apennines to the west. The city of Ripatransone may be hard to pronounce if you don’t speak Italian, but we assure you, it will be easy to fall in love with.
Located in the province of Ascoli Piceno and just a few kilometers away from the gorgeous blue waters of the Adriatic, Ripatransone gives visitors the best of both worlds: a charming village and the sea.
Since 2002, the city has waved the prestigious Orange Flag of the Italian Touring Club or the Bandiera Arancione. Stringent requirements must be met for a city to qualify and include offering visitors art and culture, an enogastronomic heritage, nature, traditions, and local handicraft. When you visit, you will see that Ripatransone has all of these qualities and then some!
What to See
The medieval layout of the village of under 5,000 people is a maze of charming alleys and vias, and in fact, the narrowest alley in all of Italy (just 43 cm wide) is here! Other sights include the Cathedral which dates to 1597 and the Palazzo della Podestà. One of the village’s charming streets (Via Margherita) was actually featured on a giant billboard in Times Square in 2018.
The Cesare Cellini Archeological Museum holds an impressive collection of over 5,000 pieces that were donated from Cellini’s private collection. Most of the pieces are of Picene origin but many are also Roman. There are also numerous other museums for art and history buffs including the Pinacoteca, and the Episcopal of Sacred Art.
Perched upon a hilltop at an elevation of about 500 meters, Ripatransone enjoys amazing views that span from the Majella mountain peak in Abruzzo to the Riviera del Conero of the Adriatic. In fact, it’s nicknamed the “Belvedere of Piceno” for this reason. In the wintertime, snowfall is common and creates a true fairytale-like landscape.
A strange phenomenon that is typical of the Marches region is what is known as calanchi or badlands. These unusual formations are due to erosion and give you the impression of being on the moon rather than touring around Italy.
If you love the outdoors and nature, then you can visit the Quercus Park Adventure Park which has various ropes courses and climbing for the entire family. There are also numerous trails in the immediate area great for both mountain biking and hiking.
Some dishes that you must try while you’re here include Ripatransone’s signature dish ciavarro. Made up of over 12 different legumes and grains, this wholesome dish is available year-round and goes back centuries. Ascolana olives are also part of both the economy and the cuisine so much so that the city is also known as the “City of Olive Oil”. Wines are abundant as well and include the Piceno reds as well as vin santo.