Strategic provincial city
Provincial capital and a well-built city strategically poised above the Tronto where that stream escapes from the hills and descends on the Adriatic (a railcar takes you to the coast in 25 minutes). Boulevards carry the impression of a place which has moved with the times: crowded streets unexpectedly open out on Piazza del Popolo, a great rendezvous ringed with shops and bars. Under the arcades you might be in an old Lombardy city, especially with San Francesco’s church and the town hall, both elaborately Gothic, surveying the scene. The Torneo della Quintana with a 1,000-strong cast in fancy dress, first Sunday in August, is a historical joust similar to that of Arezzo.