|If you follow the coast of the Adriatic on a map, about half-way down you will find a promontory: this is the "elbow" of Ancona and Monte Conero, a typically calcareous mass thrust up out of the sea towards the end of the Miocene.
It is a singular "break" in an otherwise flat landscape. But the physical aspects are only the beginning of an in many ways thrilling discovery.
If Ancona, with its architectural jewels (Santa Maria della Piazza, the theatrical setting of the Guasco Hill with the cathedral of St.Cyriac, Trajan's Arch, the Loggia of the Merchants, the Palazzi of the Elders and of the Government, Piazza del Plebiscito, the Citadel), is such an original though reserved town, the nature of its inhabitants is surprising in its blend of pride and irony.
They are sea folk of course, who for centuries have been used to fighting and are not inclined to sentimental flattery. The sea and sailing, the cuisine based on fish products and accompanied by the splendid local DOC wines (Verdicchio, Rosso Conero) and the football team are the great passions of the people of Ancona.