Nestled at the foot of Monte Conero, Numana is a picturesque coastal town on Italy’s Conero Riviera. By the 5th century BC, it was a bustling commercial hub but declined in popularity when the Romans founded Ancona. Today, Numana is known for its sun-drenched Adriatic beaches and the seasonal appearance of turtles.
Things to do in Numana
In the heart of Numana is the Santuario del Crocifisso, which was constructed in the 1960s atop an earlier church attributed to the 16th-century architect Pellegrino Tibaldi. Several frescoes by the Ancona-born painter Andrea Lilli were preserved, alongside a wooden crucifix that is believed to have been intended as a gift to Pope Leo II from Charlemagne. Nearby is the Bishop’s Palace where changing exhibitions are showcased.
Watching over the port is the Arco di Torre, an ancient Roman arch that formed part of a tower complex built to defend the town against pirate attacks. It’s a short walk from a centuries-old fountain that once supplied water to the town and rehydrated pilgrims coming to venerate the Holy Crucifix.
For a day at the beach, head to La Spiaggiola, a stunning stretch of white sand that overlooks a sheltered cove. A short walk north will take you to Spiaggia dei Frati, a more intimate beach backed by soaring white cliffs. It takes its name from the 13th-century convent that once watched over the beach and features a distinctive white rock in its shallow waters.
Getting around Numana
Numana is around 20 minutes’ drive from the centre of Ancona and 30 minutes from Marche Airport, which has flights to destinations across Europe. Regular buses connect from Ancona to Numana and the town is small enough to explore on foot.