Place to eat
- Pepperoncino – by far the best restaurant in Ascoli and the best Italian experience I had
- Yoghi – best gelato and amazing sweets
- Café Lorenz – from coffee, to gelato, to cocktails, this café has it all. It’s also the best place to meet Ascoli people, and is right in Piazza del Popolo
Places to go
- The Lookout – not sure what it’s really called but that’s what we ended up calling it. On the way to the university, there is a large staircase. If you follow it all the way up, you will find another university and a lookout over the city of Ascoli.
- Piazza del Popolo and Piazza Arringo – these are the two main Piazza’s in Ascoli, and are a must see and a great spot to just people watch and drink cappuccino.
- The Church of Sant’Emidio – beautiful church in Piazza Arringo
Events to attend
- Carnevale – If you are in Ascoli for Carnevale I highly recommend attending some events. It is about a weeklong and is a great way to get immersed in the Italian culture. They also have great food!
- Fried Food Festival (Fritto Misto) – this is another event that happened in the spring in Ascoli that I recommend. It was about a weeklong and if Ascoli is known for anything, it is there fried food! (Especially their fried olives)
- Weekly Markets – Ascoli has markets in the Piazza’s every week on Wednesday and Saturday. They had some outdoor markets for food, clothes, and antiques.
Stores/Shops to go to
- Caffé Nuovo Gusto – even though this isn’t technically a store, I wanted to add it somewhere on here because it was a hidden gem that my friends and I found in Ascoli. This ended up being where we would meet up for coffee in the morning to talk and recap what happened over the week!
- Ascoli Piceno Souvenir Shop – this shop was new to Ascoli and opened at the end of the semester, luckily for us! They have shirts, mugs, glassware, key chains, and more all for Ascoli.
- Aqua & Sapone – This store has everything that you forgot to pack or randomly decided you actually wanted it!
- Traveling with a group of friends is always a good idea, and sometimes you’ll want to plan everything out yourselves, but tour groups (such as Bus2Alps like I mentioned earlier) can help you save money sometimes and can make for a less stressful, easier experience.
- Make sure you always look at the reviews for any hotels/hostels before booking.
- The earlier you buy train tickets/bus tickets, the cheaper they will be! Sometimes in the US, we wait until the last minute and can find better deals but this is not true in Europe. Train tickets are way cheaper if you do them well in advance. Even a week can make a huge difference.
Random things to know
- If you bring up Ascoli Piceno to anyone in another city, they will most likely say “oh the place with the olives!” Ascoli is known for their fried Ascolana olives and you definitely have to try them.
- Be thankful for the prices in Ascoli on everything because it will be the cheapest city you will go to.
- Meletti (a caffé in Piazza del Popolo) is the oldest caffé in Ascoli and is home to the Anisetta treats. You definitely have to come here for aperitivo.